- Ballon d'Or 2019 30-man shortlist has been released
- Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are among the contenders for the annual prestigious award
- Neymar is conspicuously missing from the list owing to the not-too-good year he had on and off the pitch
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Paris Saint Germain superstar Neymar was missing when the 30-man contenders for the 2019 Ballon d'Or list was released earlier this week.
The Brazilian forward has endured a difficult year on and off the pitch - having being sidelined for most part of the footballing year.
According to the organisers, this is the first time the former Barcelona forward would be missing out from the initial shortlist for the prestigious award since 2010.
France Football described Neymar's activities in the last ten months as a 'black year' following numerous unpleasant incidents that sprang up in the process.
The 27-year-old missed out of the 2019 Copa America championship hosted and won his teammates earlier in the summer.
He also suffered fractured right metatarsal after suffering several fouls during PSG's 2-0 win over Strasbourg in the round-of-16 Coupe de France match.
Neymar's injury forced him out of his side's Champions League last-16 defeat against Manchester United and he didn't return in Ligue 1 until April.
Below are the key moments of a very complicated year for the PSG player, which partially justify his absence from the list.
January 23: First injury of the year
Opposed RC Strasbourg in the sixteenth-finals of the Coupe de France, PSG had made a serious match (2-0 victory). Targeted the whole game by the Alsatians, Neymar was out of the field in tears, hit metatarsal.
An injury that deprived him of a part of the end of the season with the Paris club, and especially the eighth final against Manchester United, for the result that we know ...
March 6: Insults against PSG-Manchester United referee
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Injured, Neymar was not in the Parisian group that was facing the Mancunians. After the defeat of his team (1-3), he had made a story on Instagram in which he aimed the referee of the meeting, Mr. Damir Skomina: "It's a shame. They still put four guys who do not know anything about football to watch the slow motion. It is not possible !!
How can the guy get his hands on his back? F'uck you! " Behavior that had earned him three suspension games (and two after appeal).
He missed the first two European meetings of the Paris club this season, against Real Madrid and Galatasaray. Without consequence, since his teammates have imposed themselves each time.
April 27: Hanging up with a supporter after the final of the Coupe de France
It's a story that has illustrated Neymar's frustration since moving to PSG. In the final of the Coupe de France, the Parisians had been beaten by the Rennes on penalties.
When he came to the stands to get his medal of finalist, the former Barcelona was challenged by a "supporter", who asked him "to learn to play football .
"Words that did not please the Brazilian, who pushed the viewer. A gesture that had earned him three suspension games, again.
June 6: Injury with the Brazilian selection that deprived him of the Copa America
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Major player of Brazil, Neymar hoped, with this Copa America disputed at home, to restore his coat of arms in his native country.
Hit again at the ankle during a preparation match against Qatar, he had finally witnessed the coronation of his partners as a mere spectator.
August 9: Accused of r'ape, Neymar is finally cleared
PSG number 10 was charged with r'ape by Najila Trindade Mendes de Sousa, a young Brazilian model. Without any evidence that the r'ape occurred, the complaint was dismissed.
On Instagram, he showed all his relief after the end of the case: "I will be sincere and I will not say that I am happy, but relieved."
The soap opera of the summer: The aborted transfer to FC Barcelona
By the end of the season and his injury with Brazil, the rumors of a return to Barca had come out. If, at first, they seemed unfounded, it seemed gradually more and more obvious that Neymar wanted to leave the PSG.
So, in July, when he was asked to mention his best memory, he had spoken ... of the Remontada with the Catalan club against PSG.
An interview that had necessarily fueled a departure. Throughout the summer, the wildest rumors followed one another over the clauses of his eventual transfer to Barca.
He even considered paying part of the transfer himself. Finally, after long weeks of negotiations and desperate attempts by Catalan leaders, the Brazilian remained at PSG. But the fans have not forgotten.
September 14: Back on the grounds against Strasbourg
Finally recovered from his ankle injury, Neymar found his supporters, obviously angry after his desire to leave the club during the summer. Whistled part of the game, it is finally the former Santos who delivered his, on a superb returned in the game stops (1-0).
One way to show that despite his desire to leave, he would continue to give his maximum. After the meeting, he played the game of sincerity: "Everyone knows that I wanted to leave (...). I will give myself thoroughly as in every club where I went. It's my job."
October 13: Another injury with the Brazilian selection
In a friendly against Nigeria, the Brazilian was out after just ten minutes of play, touched in the thigh. Verdict: a breakdown, and about four weeks of unavailability.
Another stop for the Brazilian, who will miss the Classic against OM, and the meeting of the Champions League against the Belgians of Brugge FC. All without being selected for the Ballon d'Or.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Virgil van Dijk tops the list of seven is one of seven Liverpool stars shortlisted for this year's Ballon d'Or award.
Others listed are Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Georginio Wijnaldum and Alisson.
They will contend with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and a few other outstanding players in the year under review.
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