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25th Oct 2016

David De Gea didn’t get a bloody Ballon d’Or nomination? LOL

This must be a joke

Conan Doherty

Hugo Lloris. Rui Patricio. Gianluigi Buffon. David De Gea. Manuel Neuer.

Who’s the odd one out there?

One is pretty damn average, sure. And if you guessed Rui Patricio, it was a good, good guess but it’s not what we were looking for.

If you guessed David De Gea, however, you unfortunately would’ve been right and that is the saddest thing of it all. It’s not because he’s the best of the bunch or because – I don’t know – he’s the only one who has played for Manchester United.

No, David De Gea is the odd one out there because he’s the only one not nominated for a Ballon d’Or.







A 30-man shortlist must’ve constituted as the longest shortlist of all time but that’s what they went for. And, still, with 30 spaces to fill, FIFA didn’t see fit to include David De Gea as one of the top 30 players in 2016.

That’s scandalous enough because you could make a strong argument that the Spaniard would be unlucky to miss out on a podium place for the whole award. His performances this year have been behind Ronaldo’s, Luis Suarez’s and maybe Antoine Griezmann’s. That’s about it and even at that, you wouldn’t shout anyone down for pushing him higher up the pecking order.

Then you have to try and get your head around the reality that there are not only some weird names in ahead of De Gea in general, but there are actually four goalkeepers. Four of them.

Four goalkeepers were better than De Gea in 2016 apparently.

Gianluigi Buffon: Automatic inclusion because he’s probably the best ever. Doesn’t really have to play better than De Gea now.

Manuel Neuer: Automatic inclusion because he’s been the best this decade. Doesn’t really have to play better than De Gea now.

Hugo Lloris: Because he’s been good. Not better than De Gea though.

Rui Patricio: Because God only knows.

An average, flapping, hesitant goalkeeper was ranked ahead of David De Gea.

The best thing you could say about Rui Patricio is that he’s there. He’s just… there.

The worst thing you could say about De Gea is, no, he might not be better than what Buffon ever was. And even then you’d be questioned.

This man has ruined goalkeeping for everyone else. You look at a goal now, any goal in any game and you think, ‘Jesus, De Gea would’ve saved that.’ No save is extraordinary anymore, however agile, however reactionary. And no goal is ever acceptable.

That’s because of David De Gea.

He has raised the bar and he’s still making saves. Three player of the year awards in a flailing team is the least he has been owed for his ever-improving, perfection-like standards. A place in a bloody 30-man shortlist longlist is the least he has deserved.

A place ahead of Rui Patricio who was there when Portugal won the Euros is the least football fans should expect from FIFA.

Colm Parkinson chats to Kerry GAA legend, and author, Kieran Donaghy in a special edition of The GAA Hour. Listen below or subscribe on iTunes

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