Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo will look to equal Messi’s record of six awards in this year’s ceremony after the organisers released a list of 30 nominees.
Last season Ronaldo scored 36 goals while contributing four assists for Juventus before making a dream return to Manchester United, where he won his first Ballon d’Or, after a 13-year hiatus.
Messi, on the other hand, was pivotal to Barcelona’s campaign despite failing to win a trophy. In the summer, he ended his 21-year association with the Blaugrana with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski was not left out of the list following a stellar season with the Bundesliga giants. The 2020 FIFA Best Men’s Player found the back of the net 41 times for his club, contributing seven assists in 29 matches.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have had five players listed among the nominees, including Mason Mount and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Full Ballon d’Or list: Cesar Azpilicueta, Nicolo Barella, Karim Benzema, Leonard Bonucci, Kevin De Bruyne, Giorgio Chiellini, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruben Dias, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Bruno Fernandes, Phil Foden, Erling Haaland, Harry Kane, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Simon Kjaer, Robert Lewandowski, Romelu Lukaku, Riyad Mahrez, Lautaro Martinez, Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Gerard Moreno, Mason Mount, Neymar, Pedri, Mohamed Salah, Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez.
Full Kopa Trophy list: Bukayo Saka, Jeremy Doku, Mason Greenwood, Pedri, Ryan Gravenberch, Florian Wirtz, Giovanni Reyna, Jamal Musiala, Jude Bellingham, Nuno Mendes.
Full Yachine Trophy list: Keylor Navas, Emiliano Martinez, Manuel Neuer, Jan Oblak, Samir Handanovic, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Ederson, Kasper Schmeichel, Edouard Mendy, Thibaut Courtois.