Ballon d'Or 2022 nominees announced: Benzema leads the way as Messi and Neymar miss out

Ballon d'Or Benzema Messi GFXGetty/GOAL

France Football have announced the nominees for the 2022 Men's Ballon d'Or, with the world's best player set to be crowned at an official presentation ceremony in October.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is the hot favourite for the prize after firing the Blancos to a league and Champions League double last season, but there are plenty of other familiar names also in the running.

Lionel Messi landed a record-extending seventh Golden Ball in 2021, but the Argentine endured a difficult debut season at Paris Saint-Germain and he - along with team-mate Neymar - misses out on the 30-man shortlist this time around.

Check out the full list of nominees below:

  • CourtoisGetty Images

    Thibaut Courtois - Real Madrid

    Courtois crowned a superb season with a Man-of-the-Match-winning display in the Champions League final, and is the favourite to win the Yachine Trophy as the campaign's best goalkeeper.

  • Rafael Leao AC Milan 2021-22Getty Images

    Rafael Leao - AC Milan

    Named Serie A MVP of the Season after firing AC Milan to their first Scudetto in 11 years, Leao earned comparisons to Thierry Henry in the Italian press.

  • Christopher-Nkunku(C)Getty Images

    Christopher Nkunku - RB Leipzig

    Nkunku beat off competition from Robert Lewandowski to win the Bundesliga Player of the Season award after a goal-lade campaign for Leipzig that was topped off by winning the DFB-Pokal in May.

  • Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2022-23Getty Images

    Mohamed Salah - Liverpool

    Arguably the best player in the world through the first half of the season, Salah remained key for Liverpool during the run-in despite suffering disappointment on the international stage for Egypt.

  • Joshua Kimmich FC Bayern 2022Getty

    Joshua Kimmich - Bayern Munich

    Kimmich continues to be one of the most underrated footballers in the world as he played a key role in Bayern claiming a tenth successive Bundesliga title.

  • Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool Community Shield 2022-23Getty Images

    Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool

    With over 20 assists for club and country over the course of the 2021-22 campaign, Alexander-Arnold continues to push the limits of what a full-back is capable off from an attacking perspective.

  • Bernardo Silva Manchester City 2021-22Getty

    Bernardo Silva - Manchester City

    Bernardo Silva went from being on the cusp of leaving Man City to their most consistent performer within the space of a few weeks as they won yet another Premier League title.

  • Vinicius celebrate Liverpool Real Madrid Champions League 2022Getty

    Vinicius Junior - Real Madrid

    In a breakout season packed with goals and assists, Vinicius saves the most important for last as he netted the only goal in the Champions League final.

  • Luis Diaz Liverpool 2021-22Getty Images

    Luis Diaz - Liverpool

    Diaz may have only arrived at Liverpool in January from Porto, but he proved to be a true game-changer for the Reds, coming up with huge goals and assists during their quest for an unprecedented quadruple.

  • Robert Lewandowski FC Barcelona 2022Getty Images

    Robert Lewandowski - Barcelona

    Lewandowski enjoyed another 50-goal season in what proved to be his final campaign at Bayern Munich, but will that be enough for him to finally get his hands on the Ballon d'Or in 2022?

  • Manchester City and Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez 2021-22Getty

    Riyad Mahrez - Manchester City

    City's top scorer in all competitions in 2021-22, Mahrez shrugged of Africa Cup of Nations embarrassment with Algeria to play a key role for Pep Guardiola's side down the stretch.

  • Casemiro Real Madrid Supercup 2022Getty

    Casemiro - Real Madrid

    While Madrid finally seem to be making moves that will help them one day replace Casemiro, the Brazil midfielder remains one of their most important players, particularly when out of possession.

  • HEUNG MIN SON TOTTENHAM PREMIER LEAGUE 12052022Getty Images

    Son Heung-min - Tottenham

    The joint-top scorer in the 2021-22 Premier League season, Son took his game to new heights to help Spurs clinch a return to the Champions League under Antonio Conte.

  • Fabinho Villarreal Liverpool Champions LeagueGetty

    Fabinho - Liverpool

    A calming presence at the heart of Liverpool's midfield, he also popped up with the odd important goal, including in the Champions League semi-final against Villarreal.

  • Benzema Real Madrid 2022Getty

    Karim Benzema - Real Madrid

    A truly remarkable season from Benzema, who netted over 40 goals for club and country while providing a series of assists as he picked up winners' medals in the Champions League, La Liga and UEFA Nations League.

  • Maignan Milan SampdoriaGetty Images

    Mike Maignan - AC Milan

    Gianluigi Donnarumma's gloves looked like they would be tough to fill at AC Milan, but Maignan proved to be a superb signing by the Rossoneri as he claimed his second league title in as many years having won Ligue 1 with Lille in 2021.

  • Harry Kane Tottenham 2022Getty

    Harry Kane - Tottenham

    After a slow start to the season, Kane exploded during the second half of the season, with his play-making ability almost more important to Tottenham than his goalscoring.

  • Darwin Nunez Liverpool 2022-23Getty Images

    Darwin Nunez - Liverpool

    With 34 goals in all competitions, Nunez announced himself to the world over the course of what proved to be his final season at Benfica, as his form earned the striker a big-money summer move to Liverpool.

  • PHIL FODEN MANCHESTER CITY CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 04052022Getty Images

    Phil Foden - Manchester City

    Despite having won four league titles before his 22nd birthday, it still feels like fans outside of England do not appreciate just how good Foden truly is, with the City star a potential Ballon d'Or winner of the future.

  • Sadio Mane Bayern Munich 2022 Super CupGetty

    Sadio Mane - Bayern Munich

    Mane's final season at Liverpool started slowly but he was back to his best after guiding Senegal to Africa Cup of Nations glory in January as he provided plenty of memorable moments for Reds supporters.

  • Sebastien Haller Borussia Dortmund 2022Getty Images

    Sebastien Haller - Borussia Dortmund

    Haller was a surprise revelation of the 2021-22 season as he broke countless goal-scoring records in the Champions League while firing Ajax to the Eredivisie title before sealing a summer move to Dortmund.

  • Modric Real MadridGetty Images

    Luka Modric - Real Madrid

    The 2018 Ballon d'Or winner rolled back the years last season, putting in a series of virtuoso performances at the age of 36 as Madrid triumphed domestically and on the continent.

  • Antonio Rudiger Real Madrid Frankfurt 2022-23Getty Images

    Antonio Rudiger - Real Madrid

    Rudiger went from being out in the cold at Chelsea under Frank Lampard to one of the best centre-backs in world football under Thomas Tuchel, and impressed enough to earn a summer move to Real Madrid.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United 07082022Getty

    Cristiano Ronaldo - Manchester United

    Though United's overall season was one to forget, Ronaldo did manage 24 goals in all competitions while also becoming the all-time top scorer in men's international football in the early weeks of the campaign.

  • Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City 2021-22Getty Images

    Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City

    De Bruyne bubbled along nicely through the first half of the season before exploding during the run in as he scored a number of crucial goals in both the Premier League and Champions League for City.

  • Dusan Vlahovic JuventusGetty Images

    Dusan Vlahovic - Juventus

    Vlahovic was almost unstoppable for Fiorentina during the first half of the season, and though he could not always replicate that form for Juventus after his big-money January move, he showed enough signs to suggest he can become the Bianconeri's next superstar striker.

  • Virgil van Dijk Liverpool 2022Getty

    Virgil van Dijk - Liverpool

    Back from injury and back to his imperious best, Van Dijk cemented his status as world football's premier centre-back over the course of Liverpool's memorable campaign.

  • Joao Cancelo Manchester City 2021-22Getty

    Joao Cancelo - Manchester City

    An underwhelming signing as a right-back in 2019, Cancelo has developed into one of the best left-backs in the world, with his ability to drift inside and provide goals and assists that most midfielders would be proud of almost unmatched.

  • mbappe(C)Getty Images

    Kylian Mbappe - Paris Saint-Germain

    The only member of PSG's much-heralded front three to make the shortlist, Mbappe stepped up where Lionel Messi and Neymar struggled as he claimed trophies at both club and international level in 2021-22.

  • Erling Haaland Man City West Ham 2021-22Getty

    Erling Haaland - Manchester City

    Though injuries interrupted Haaland's final season at Borussia Dortmund, he still managed almost a goal-a-game record in the Bundesliga before joining Man City over the summer.