The Ballon D’Or (or the Golden Ball) is arguably the most prestigious individual honor in world football.
Although dominated by the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (with the former looking most likely to win it for the 4th time), here are 7 players who missed out on a Ballon D’Or nomination this year :
1. Angel Di Maria :
The Argentine makes a strong case for this year’s Ballon D’Or nomination after his displays in Ligue 1 and the Copa America Centenario.
Di Maria has 20 assists in 2016 and he was a part of the Argentina squad that made its way to the final of the Copa America Centenario. He also set a record in Ligue 1 as he provided 18 assists in a season.
2. Diego Costa :
After a rather disappointing form at the EURO 2016, Diego Costa has made a bold statement to come up as the current top scorer of the Premier League with 7 goals to his name and has scored/assisted a total of over 50 goals in his last 60 league appearances for Chelsea.
Seen as a brash and physical player, he has now matured into a better player, using his prowess to his own benefit.
Still missing from the Golden Ball shortlist, he may be just as surprised as we are.
3. Mesut Ozil :
Dubbed as the assist king, the shining example of the modern day attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil is shockingly omitted from the Ballon D’or final shortlist.
Ozil has been instrumental in Arsenal’s domestic success and has posted statistics of 11 goals and 9 assists this year whereas he ended the 2015-16 season for Arsenal with 8 goals and 20 assists in all competitions.
4. Alexis Sanchez :
Another Arsenal snub from the list is the vibrant Chilean, Alexis Sanchez. He was a vital part of the squad that won the Copa America Centenario and scored 17 goals last season.
Add that to his spectacular form in the current season, he is definitely a strange omission from the list.
5. N’golo Kante :
It was the fairytale story for N’golo Kanye as Leicester won the league title last time after staring with 5000:1 odds.
Sadly enough, the season saw Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez get the Golden Ball nomination but not Kante.
Kante bolstered Leicester’s midfield last season in spectacular fashion and has continued to dominate the ranks at Chelsea, as well.
There have been pundits who have rated his signing to Chelsea better than Paul Pogba’s move to Manchester United. Still, seeing him on the Ballon D’Or shortlist would’ve made a huge impact on the rise of world class midfielders.
6. Leonardo Bonucci :
“It’s not an award for defenders”, so they say.
But it would be vehemtly unfair if one of the world’s best defenders is not even nominated among the top 30 players in the world.
A commanding figure in the Juventus line up as they clinched the Serie A for a record 5th consecutive time coupled with some fine performances at EURO 2016, Bonucci was another snub at this year’s Balon D’Or.
7. David De Gea :
It would’ve been a story for the ages HAD HIS TRANSFER DEAL TO REAL MADRID NOT COLLAPSED ON THE TRANSFER DEADLINE DAY but it just wasn’t meant to be.
De Gea didn’t let that bog him down and went on to give some of the most spectacular performances as United’s top keeper.
Still not making it to the Ballon D’or top 30 came as a surprise to everyone as a player who has been awarded the best club player of the season for 3 seasons running as the world itself acknowledges that the United keeper does deserve his place with the elite.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.