Ballon d'Or 2023 nominees: Fans miffed as Ronaldo misses out; Messi, Haaland, Mbappe lead 30-man shortlist
Cristiano Ronaldo has been left off the prestigious Ballon d'Or 2023 30-man shortlist, marking the first time in two decades that the football legend has not made the cut. This omission follows a year after his long-standing rival, Lionel Messi, faced a similar snub. We delve into the reasons behind this unexpected development and the frontrunners for the coveted football award.
In the Ballon d'Or 2023 announcement, Cristiano Ronaldo's absence from the 30-man shortlist is notable, marking the first time in two decades that he has not been included. The renowned Portuguese football icon has previously secured the Ballon d'Or award five times, with his most recent win occurring in 2017. Although he made a promising start at Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League, this move transpired in January.
Ronaldo's 2022 journey began at Manchester United, but his return to Old Trafford did not go as planned, characterized by a tumultuous second spell under Erik ten Hag. He featured in only 10 out of 16 matches across various competitions, contributing three goals and two assists.
However, the 38-year-old displayed a resurgence at Al-Nassr and adapted well to his role as a trailblazer in the Saudi Pro League. During the previous season, he recorded 14 goals and two assists in 16 league appearances for Al-Alami, although they fell short of clinching the title.
It is worth noting that this year's Ballon d'Or shortlist does not feature Cristiano Ronaldo, marking an unusual occurrence. This follows a similar exclusion of his long-standing rival, Lionel Messi, from the previous year's nominations.
Messi has garnered two more Ballon d'Or awards than Ronaldo, making him the frontrunner for the 2023 accolade. This is largely attributed to his remarkable performance in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where he secured his first-ever World Cup victory.
In contrast, Ronaldo's World Cup journey in 2022 was disappointing, with just one goal scored in five matches. His struggles culminated in being relegated to the bench during the knockout stages, and Portugal was eliminated in the quarterfinals.