It’s that time of the year again when FIFA releases the final 30 shortlist for the Ballon D’Or and to know one’s surprise, they’ve left out a few surprises. So here is my list of surprise left outs.
First off, here is the shortlist for those of you who haven’t seen it:
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Paulo Dybala (Juventus)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid)
Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Koke (Atletico Madrid)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Dimitri Payet (West Ham)
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Pepe (Real Madrid)
Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)
I don’t find myself agreeing with Arsenal fans all that often but this time with the exclusion of Mesut Ozil I do. In the Premier League last season, Ozil scored six goals and had nineteen assist making him the leader in assist. He drew 43 fouls averaging over one a game which is spectacular. Ozil is a player not even looking at the numbers, just the impact to his team is enough to show how valuable and how world class he is.
If Rui Patricio can get the nod, so certainly should David De Gea. In all competition for Manchester United last season, De Gea registered 140 saves in 55 games. If you watched any United game last season, De Gea was the only reason they didn’t finish lower than they did. Registering no offense last season, United relied on their defense and De Gea was a staple in that team.
“He’s one of our own, he’s one of our owwwn. Harry Kane, he’s one of our own.” A chant that became a staple in any ground Tottenham and Harry Kane were playing in. With a doubt Tottenham’s most important player last season, Harry Kane has been excluded from the shortlist. Yes he had a bad EURO performance but so did England. In the Premier League, Kane scored 25 goals to shotgun Tottenham into the top four and up until bottling it, a strong title contender. Being deemed one of the most clinical finishers in the Prem, how could he not be included?
Lastly, and to me the most underappreciated player who was left out, Jan Oblak. Playing every minute for Atletico Madrid last season, including all league games and a Champions League final. In the league, he led Atletico to a third place finish with his 83 saves. In the Champions League he had 43 saves. Also, he did this all at 23 years of age.
We all know Ronaldo or Messi are going to win the award but it’s nice to still give players the recognition they deserve. If there’s someone you believe deserves to be on that list or someone you don’t agree with, let us know in the comments below.
Jonathan Molik, TFN Podcast Host on 25/10/2016 at 22:11
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanMolik