The organizers of the Ballon d’Or have given reasons for including Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo on 2022 shortlist despite omitting Paris Saint-Germain Lionel Messi.
Messi failed to make the final 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or for the first time in 17 years, capping off a frustrating first year in Paris that yielded 11 goals and 15 assists in 34 games – a comparatively poor return for someone with Messi’s lofty standards.
The inclusion of Ronaldo was then defended by France Football, with supporters citing the Manchester United player’s failure in England as justification.
“The statistics say the opposite,” their response began. “Ronaldo became the top scorer in national football this season. He was extremely decisive in the Champions League group stage with four off-the-cuff goals that gave Man Utd seven points.
“In the Premier League, he has 18 goals including two hat-tricks. In total, 32 goals in 49 matches is not as many as in his best seasons but enough to be among the 30 best players in the world.”