France Football has revealed the 30-player shortlist for this year’s coveted Ballon d’Or award, but there are a few notable absentees.
Fox Sports Asia takes a look at five players who deserve a place on the shortlist.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
The biggest omission by far. Leading Arsenal to second place in the Premier League and his country to successive Copa Americas wasn’t enough to ensure that Chile captain Alexis Sanchez made the shortlist. Sanchez scored 13 goals for Arsenal as they finished runners-up to Leicester and put in a fair few match-winning performances in a solid season for the Gunners, but surely his international exploits were enough to win him a nomination?
N’Golo Kante (Leicester/Chelsea)
If Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are deemed deserving of a nomination, then surely the third member of Leicester’s title winning triumvirate should be up there too? The Frenchman may be diminutive in stature, but he was an absolute giant on the field for the Foxes last season and was just as important to the title challenge during a season where he also secured a regular spot in the French national side and a big money move to Chelsea.
Alexis Sanchez not on the Ballon D'Or nominees? And they wonder why we can't take that award seriously. No N'Golo Kante either.
— Brian (@BrianBertie) October 24, 2016
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Sergio Aguero scores 24 goals and makes the list, yet Harry Kane wins the Premier League Golden Boot with 25 goals and doesn’t. Harry Kane was a driving force behind Tottenham’s challenge for the Premier League and also performed well for England. Well, up until Euro 2016 anyway. Would be interesting to hear France football’s explanation as to why Kane didn’t make the shortlist.
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Italy’s best defender is another surprising omission from the list. The ball-playing central defender has missed out for a second-season running despite being key to the continued success of the Italian champions, who claimed their second successive double last season. But then the Ballon d’Or has never really been keen on defenders, the last one to win it being Fabio Cannavaro 10-years-ago.
No Kante or Ozil nominated in the Ballon d'Or for this year, but Paul Poga made it.
Bloody disgrace. pic.twitter.com/JdsgvoMI0O
— Özil Nation (@OzilNation) October 24, 2016
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Was in top form for Arsenal last season as he led them to second place in the Premier League with six goals and an amazing 19 assists in 35 games. The 28-year-old has begun this season in a similar vein and continues to be an integral part of a very successful German side. International teammate Toni Kroos of Real Madrid got the nod, but not Mesut. Strange.
Is there anyone else you think should be on the list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below