FIFA seem to forget Man City exist as they announce The Best nominees
Somewhere throughout this summer, Manchester City was liquidated as a club and you all missed it.
Not only were they tossed from existence but every memory of them was banished too.
The FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League treble champions just suddenly ceased and the football world moved on without the 98-point, 95-goal juggernaut that were denied a Champions League semi-final spot by a hair's breadth, and by VAR.
In light of their plight, FIFA had no choice but to plough on without them and pick 10 players as nominees for The Best player awards:
- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Matthijs de Ligt
- Virgil Van Dijk
- Frenkie De Jong
- Eden Hazard
- Kylian Mbappe
- Harry Kane
- Sadio Mané
- Mo Salah
- Lionel Messi
And who could argue?
Okay, some might think of a little Portuguese maestro who dominated England this season before moving on to conquer Europe, winning the Player of the Nations League en route to lifting the cup. They might remember all his twists and turns, his eye-of-a-needle football, his first-time passes and so many of his unmarkable performances on the road to winning four domestic competitions. Some people might pine for proper and deserved recognition for Bernardo Silva but that was before Manchester City were deleted.
You probably even have some sympathy for Raheem Sterling, his best year yet, full of threat, purpose, energy. You might wonder how seriously his 25 goals and 13 assists in 51 games were taken, if his League Cup-winning penalty was considered or his two FA Cup final goals. The answer is simple. They weren't. Manchester City are not a thing.
Instead, Harry Kane was the obvious selection. Oh, sure, he missed 17 games, he didn't even score as much as Sterling over the season and, yes, five different players beat him in the race for the Premier League golden boot but so what? He might not have played at the Etihad or in either of the Champions League semi-finals, he might have finished the season with zero honours and managed one goal in six games for England across the Nations League but when did that get in the way of a good marketing campaign?
Man City might've already dominated the league so much that it already seems ordinary for them to do it again with their 99-point average. Their main target of European glory might've stalled with a premature celebration at the Etihad and maybe there was a presumption of flatness around their campaign because of that. The reality is that they had to win their last 14 league games - with no room for error - to win the title by a point and they came back and finished that job off before hammering Watford into the ground for the club's first ever treble.
Their only sin is that they make it look too easy.
Silva's and Sterling's faults? That they weren't as good as Harry Kane.