Ballon d’Or: Six top players who should be on the shortlist

France Football revealed the 30-player shortlist for football’s most coveted award on Monday, but there are a few notable absentees.

FOX Sports Asia takes a look at six players who probably deserve a place on the shortlist.

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Sanchez enjoyed probably his most productive year for Arsenal last year, netting 30 goals in all competition as well as 19 assists as he all but single-handedly lead the Gunners to another FA Cup and fifth place in the Premier League. The Chilean captain put in match-winning performances almost every other week for Arsene Wenger’s side, but was remarkably ignored for the second successive season. That gave Arsenal fans something else to complain about.

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
The Man City and Argentina striker has been in prolific form this year (Isn’t he always?) bagging 15 of his 2016/17 season tally of 33 this year, while adding seven in eight games so far this term. He is one of the most consistent goal scorers in world football and will soon become City’s
top scorer of all time – he currently stands just one goal off the record. Surely that is enough to get on the list?

Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
The French midfield star returned to United as the world’s most expensive player, and although he didn’t quite hit top form, he was still part of a Manchester United side that won the League Cup and Europa League. He started this season in top form, only for a hamstring injury to rule him out for several weeks just as he was looking like he would justify his huge transfer fee.

Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus)
Signed for Juventus in the summer for 90 million and certainly lived up to his transfer fee. Higuain carried on where he had left off for Napoli, scoring 32 goals in all competition as the Old Lady completed a domestic league and cup double, while also narrowly missing out on the Champions League, losing in the final to Real Madrid. What’s even stranger is that teammate Paulo Dybala scored just 19 goals yet got the nod, while Higuain didn’t.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
There is no doubt that the Swedish veteran feels that he should be on the list, but his form for Manchester United last year was also good enough to justify at least a nomination. The 35-year old enjoyed a stellar first season in northern England, netting 28 goals in 46 games, before a serious injury brought his 2017 to a premature end. But given his age and form, surely Ibra deserved one last shot?

Dani Alves (Juventus)
The 34-year old Brazilian continues to be one of the world’s best full backs despite his advanced years. Last season he was instrumental as Juventus won Serie A and the Coppa Italia, while he positively sparkled for the Italians in their run to the Champions League final, scoring a wonder goal against Monaco in their semi-final win. His consistently excellent showings were enough to earn him a move to moneybags PSG, yet were not enough to make the Ballon d’Or list.

Honourable mentions:

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
Twenty-three assists and 12 goals in all competition as Spurs came close to winning the Premier League. Has also starred for Denmark in World Cup qualifying.

Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United)
Twenty-eight goals from 32 goals in 2017 should surely have seen the Belgian get the nod.