2023 Ballon d’Or: Why is Cristiano Ronaldo not included? | All Nominees

Most footballers in the world can only dream of winning the coveted Ballon d’Or someday, but Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have a combined 12 awards just between the two of them. The Argentine superstar is touted to lift the prize for a record eighth time while his Portuguese compatriot is nowhere to be seen in the 30-man shortlist. Let’s take a look at all the nominees for the 2023 Ballon d’Or and why Cristiano Ronaldo was not included in the list.

CR7 misses out on 2023 Ballon d’Or shortlist

Let’s face it: no one was expecting 38-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo on the France Football magazine’s podium to lift the Ballon d’Or for a sixth time. However, it still comes as a surprise that the veteran was not even one of the thirty best players of 2023. 

In fact, this is the first time in the last two decades that the Ballon d’Or nominees shortlist does not feature Cristiano Ronaldo. The footballer had a record of 19 consecutive nominations from the age of 19 to 37, which highlights his unreal longevity as a player.

Interestingly, two of CR7’s fellow nominees – Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo – in his first-ever Ballon d’Or shortlist in 2004 went on to coach him as a manager. The 2023 snub virtually marks the end of an era, but one can never write off Cristiano Ronaldo.

Why wasn’t Cristiano Ronaldo nominated?

So, what brought the 20-year streak to an end? Cristiano Ronaldo’s 2022-23 season was not awful by any means, but it still was a shadow of his former glory. The star had a highly publicized fallout with boyhood club Manchester United and left Old Trafford mid-season.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s FIFA World Cup 2022 campaign in Qatar with Portugal was one to forget. The team was knocked out by Morocco in the quarterfinals, and Ronaldo had only one penalty goal in his tournament tally. 

Following this, he joined the Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, where he has 20 goals in 20 appearances. Despite these impressive numbers and an influx of world-class players, the Saudi Pro League ranks in the 36th place among the best leagues in the world. 

Therefore, it’s difficult to pit Ronaldo’s numbers against those playing in tougher competitions like the Premier League, La Liga, or Serie A. Notably, no player has won the Ballon d’Or playing outside of European league football. 

List of all 2023 Ballon d’Or nominees

While Cristiano Ronaldo sits out the 2023 Ballon d’Or nominees shortlist, his rival Lionel Messi is poised to take home the coveted prize. While Messi also played outside of Europe in the MLS and had a shaky club season with PSG, his World Cup win gives him the edge.

In a tight race with Messi for the Ballon d’Or is Manchester City’s super-striker Erling Haaland. The Norwegian goal machine won the prestigious treble in his debut season and broke the all-time Premier League single-season goal record with 36 goals. 

Here are all 30 men’s nominees from the 2023 Ballon d’Or shortlist:
  1. Ilkay Gündogan – Manchester City / Barcelona / Germany
  2. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool / Egypt
  3. Harry Kane – Tottenham / Bayern Munich / England
  4. Josko Gvardiol – RB Leipzig / Manchester City / Croatia
  5. Emiliano Martínez – Aston Villa / Argentina
  6. Lionel Messi – PSG / Inter Miami / Argentina
  7. Bernardo Silva – Manchester City / Portugal
  8. Bukayo Saka – Arsenal / England
  9. Randal Kolo Muani – Eintracht Frankfurt / PSG / France
  10. Erling Haaland – Manchester City / Norway
  11. Martin Ødegaard – Arsenal / Norway
  12. Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich / Germany
  13. Vinícius Júnior – Real Madrid / Brazil
  14. Julián Álvarez – Manchester City / Argentina
  15. Robert Lewandowski – Barcelona / Poland
  16. Lautaro Martínez – Inter Milan / Argentina
  17. Kim Min-jae – Napoli / Bayern Munich / South Korea
  18. Victor Osimhen – Napoli / Nigeria
  19. Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund / Real Madrid / England
  20. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City / Belgium
  21. André Onana – Inter Milan / Manchester United / Cameroon
  22. Yassine Bounou – Sevilla / Al Hilal / Morocco
  23. Rodri – Manchester City / Spain
  24. Kylian Mbappé – PSG / France
  25. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid / Al Ittihad
  26. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – Napoli / Georgia
  27. Nicolo Barella – Inter Milan / Italy
  28. Luka Modric – Real Madrid / Croatia
  29. Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid / France
  30. Rúben Dias – Manchester City / Portugal

You can share questions about Cristiano Ronaldo’s snub in the 2023 Ballon d’Or nominees list. For more content, stay with us here at Spiel Times. Make sure you subscribe to our push notifications and never miss an update. You can also follow us on Spiel Anime, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Until next time!