5 players that probably should've made the Ballon d'Or shortlist
It's that time of year again where we all pretend that someone other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo might win the Ballon d'Or.
The 30-man shortlist for FIFA's best player in world football award was unveiled on Monday, and as per usual, not everyone was entirely happy at some of the names that didn't make the cut.
With that in mind, we've had a quick look at five players currently plying their trade in the Premier League that had a decent case for being included.
One of the surprise omissions from this year's list was Arsenal's Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker crafted assists for fun in an Arsenal shirt last season and has started this season impressively too, even grabbing a Champions League hat-trick against Ludogorets last week (that Bulgarian team that we still have to Google to make sure we spell correctly). Still, no room at the Ballon d'Or Inn for Mesut. At least he can take comfort from the fact that many of his pals that wished him happy birthday last week did make it.
Chins up Arsenal fans, surely Alexis Sanchez will have made the list, right?
Yep, that's right. Despite finishing second in the Greatest League in the World™ last season, there's not a single Arsenal player deemed worthy of a place in the Ballon d'Or list. Okay, he wasn't quite as prolific last season as he was in his first in London, but he played his part in a Copa America victory for Chile. Surely that should be enough for him to bump someone else off the list?
Staying in north London, Harry Kane might also have good reason to feel aggrieved. Last year's Premier League golden boot winner with 25 goals, he misses out this time whilst Sergio Aguero - who managed 24 in 2015/16 - is on the list. Sure, Aguero might have started the current season with a few more goals, but we doubt he'll be on corner duty for his country any time soon.
David De Gea
If not for David De Gea making his obligatory world-class save every match, Manchester United fans might not be enjoying European glamour ties against Zorya Luhansk this season. Yet again, his form has been generally good this year, and though few can argue that Hugo Lloris is worthy of his place on the shortlist, it's worth noting that De Gea has probably been the busier of the two for the majority of 2016. He's also finally seen off Iker Casillas as Spanish numero uno, too. Quite a big deal in itself.
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are both rightly included in this year's list for the parts they played in making Leicester City champions of England. Although N'Golo Kante didn't chip in with quite as many goals as his two former club mates, he was a just as important a factor in their title success. Having tied down a spot in the French national side, Kante is unlucky to miss out. Not even Sunday's Diego Maradona-esque goal for Chelsea was enough to see him gatecrash the list.
Not to worry anyway fellas. It's almost certainly going to be Cristiano Ronaldo who wins the thing anyway.
We're sure we've failed to miss several other big names off this list of omissions. Why not let us know precisely how angry you are that we've not mentioned the player you were thinking of by dropping us a tweet or a message on our Facebook page? We'd love that.
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