Ballon d'Or nominees: Messi, Haaland and Salah make shortlist but no Ronaldo

Aitana Bonmati, who last week was named the Uefa women's player of the year, is one of six female nominees from world champions Spain

Lionel Messi is a seven-time winner of the men's Ballon d'Or. Reuters
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Argentina forward Lionel Messi was among the nominees for the men's Ballon d'Or award with Erling Haaland leading a seven-strong Manchester City contingent announced by organisers France Football magazine Wednesday.

Seven-time winner Messi, who switched to MLS franchise Inter Miami this summer, led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December, their first triumph since 1986.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, a five-time winner who now plays his club football in Saudi Arabia, did not receive a nomination for the first time in 20 years.

Haaland scored 52 goals for treble-winning Manchester City last season and is joined by teammates Rodri, Julian Alvarez, Ruben Dias, Josko Gvardiol, Kevin de Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva.

Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe is also on the shortlist. The France striker became only the second player after England's Geoff Hurst to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final but could not help Les Bleus retain their title after losing to Messi's Argentina in a penalty shoot-out.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Aston Villa’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emi Martinez are other notable inclusions, as is Arsenal's Martin Odegaard.

Three current Bayern Munich players were nominated: Harry Kane, Jamal Musiala and Kim Min-jae. Real Madrid also has three: Vinicius Junior, Jude Bellingham and Luka Modric.

Fifteen players are nominated for the first time. Last year's winner, Karim Benzema, another to join the influx of foreign imports to the Saudi Pro League, was also nominated.

Aitana Bonmati, who last week was named the Uefa women's player of the year, is one of six female nominees from Spain. Bonmati led Spain to the Women's World Cup title last month.

"Grateful & proud to be nominated alongside great players," Bonmati said on social media.

Barcelona's Alexia Putellas, who has won the women's award for the past two years, was not nominated.

Chelsea duo Sam Kerr and Millie Bright were among the 30 female nominees as are England teammates Rachel Daly, Georgia Stanway and Mary Earps.

Spain's Olga Carmona, who scored the winner against England in the Women's World Cup final, is also on the list.

Other notable names include Wendie Renard, Alexandra Popp, Fridolina Rolfo, Khadija Shaw, Asisat Oshoala and Linda Caicedo.

Sophia Smith, a forward with the Portland Thorns, was the only United States player nominated.

The awards for the best men's and women's player in the world will be presented in Paris on October 30.

Updated: September 07, 2023, 6:12 AM