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Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 10:41
Ballon d'Or organizer explains why Neymar was left off list
By Associated Press
Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 10:41 By Associated Press

Neymar JR (right) of Paris Saint-Germain vies with Antoine Bobichon of Angers during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Angers at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Oct 5, 2019. (JACK CHAN / XINHUA)

PARIS - Too many injuries. A Champions League ban for insulting match officials. Hitting a fan after losing the French Cup final. Agitating for a transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar's absence from the list of 30 Ballon d'Or candidates was explained Tuesday by France Football magazine which organizes the prestigious award.

The magazine said events in what it called Neymar's "annee noire" (black year) justified his failure to be nominated for the first time since 2010

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The magazine said events in what it called Neymar's "annee noire" (black year) justified his failure to be nominated for the first time since 2010.

On the field, Neymar was injured and missed many key games, including Brazil's Copa America title run and PSG's Champions League Round of 16 exit against Manchester United.

Neymar was suspended for PSG's first two Champions League group-stage games this season for insulting the match officials who gave Man United a decisive stoppage-time penalty.

READ MORE: Kaka urges Neymar to stay at PSG, lead CL push

The Paris-based magazine also criticized the "summer soap opera" of Neymar's failed attempts to force a move from PSG back to his former club Barcelona.

Neymar has never won the Ballon d'Or. He was third in 2015 and 2017.

Brazil's Neymar Jr, right, and Nigeria's Anderson Esiti go for the ball during the international friendly match between Brazil and Nigeria in Singapore, Oct 13, 2019. (DANIAL HAKIM / AP PHOTO)

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