Messi’s appointment comes a year later he was omitted from the shortlist. If he won the men’s Ballon d’Or this year, it would be the eighth time he had won the award – the second being that of Cristiano Ronaldo with five. In February, Messi too won the Best FIFA Men’s Player award for a second time.
Ronaldo, who now plays for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, was left out for the first time since 2003.
The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on October 30.
At club level, Messi has had a mixed year. He had difficulty Paris Saint Germain as the French side were knocked out of the Champions League in the Round of 16 for a second successive season, despite helping the team to an 11th place finish. League 1 title.
He ended his stay in Paris this summer, however, opting to join InterMiami on a free transfer, where he made an instant impact helping them win the League Cup and claim a place in the US Open Cup final.
In the meantime, Erling Haaland was also nominated and could be Messi’s strongest competition for the award. THE Norway the striker has scored 52 goals in 53 matches in all competitions. Manchester City won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles.
The 23-year-old broke the Premier League single-season goalscoring record with 36 goals in his debut campaign in England.
The striker has also won numerous individual awards for his stunning performances, including PFA Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season and Football Writers’ Association Men’s Player of the Year.
Unsurprisingly, players from Manchester City and Argentina dominate this year’s list of nominees. Seven players who helped City win the treble last season, including Haaland, were on the shortlist, while four Argentinian players, including Messi, featured in their country’s third World Cup triumph.
Full list of nominees for the men’s Ballon d’Or:
André Onana – Manchester United/Cameroon
Josko Gvardiol – Manchester City/Croatia
Karim Benzema – Al-Ittihad
Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich/Germany
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool/Egypt
Jude Bellingham – Real Madrid/England
Bukayo Saka – Arsenal/England
Randal Kolo Muani – Paris Saint-Germain/France
Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City/Belgium
Bernardo Silva – Manchester City/Portugal
Emiliano Martínez – Aston Villa/Argentina
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – Naples/Georgia
Ruben Dias – Manchester City/Portugal
Nicolo Barella – Inter Milan/Italy
Erling Haaland – Manchester City/Norway
Yassine Bounou – Al Hilal/Morocco
Martin Ødegaard – Arsenal/Norway
Julián Álvarez – Manchester City/Argentina
Ilkay Gündogan – Barcelona/Germany
Vinícius Júnior – Real Madrid/Brazil
Lionel Messi – Inter Miami/Argentina
Rodri – Manchester City/Spain
Lautaro Martínez – Inter Milan/Argentina
Antoine Griezmann – Atlético Madrid/France
Robert Lewandowski – Barcelona/Poland
Kylian Mbappé – Paris Saint-Germain/France
Kim Min-jae – Naples/South Korea
Victor Osimhen – Naples/Nigeria
Luka Modric – Real Madrid/Croatia
Harry Kane – Bayern Munich/England