The 30 man Ballon D’or nomination list has just been released and here is my best XI of players not included on the list.
GK- Manuel Neuer
I am very surprised he has been left out. I know Bayern didn’t do too well in the Champions League last year and they haven’t gotten off to the best start this year but he really is a top world class keeper and in my opinion still the best keeper in the world. The reasoning behind why he isn’t on the list is probably due to injuries which have kept him out of a number of games this past year.
LB- Alex Sandro
This guy was an absolute rocket in the Juve defnse last season and a huge part of what helped them reach the final. He was a constant threat on the attack and always reliable at the back in helping keep Juve’s defense as arguably the best in Europe. They only conceded 2 goals in the Champions League up until the final.
CB- Toby Alderweirld
He may not play for the biggest club or have won as much silverware as some other players but purely based on how solid he is and how great of an impact he has had on the Tottenham defense and team, he could earn a place on the list. Very few players can time a tackle like him and only Leonardo Bonucci can match him in terms of passing range for a center back.
CB- Raphael Varane
His teammate and Center back partner Sergio Ramos made the cut, and for good reason, but Varane was left out. He was a solid performer all season and a huge reason why Real became the first team to secure back to back Champions League. Ramos is the better of the two and showed that last season but it’s only a matter of time before Varane takes him over, and we saw plenty of signs this year to say that is coming soon.
RB- Dani Alves
Another Juventus wing-back in this line up and it’s no coincidence. Juve are one of the most defensively sound teams in the world, but at the same time must provide quality attacking soccer and entertainment. Dani Alves is one of the most entertaining players you can find (on and off the pitch). He is everywhere. Up and down the field all day creating chances at one end and snuffing them out at the other. It’s what he’s done his whole career and that was no different this year. Just look at his goal or his assist against Monaco in the Champions league semi-final and if that doesn’t convince you I don’t know what will.
This guy has been the rock in midfeild that Madrid has been needing. Zidane has shaped him into one of the best holding mids in the world and he was crucial in their champions league run this season. Still only 25 it’s going to be exciting to watch him develop.
He really has taken on much more responsibility in that Bayern midfield. As Xabi’s role decreased last season, Thiago stepped up and has filled in seamlessly. Another guy who is still young at 26 years old, he has become one of the worlds best. If he can achieve his high standards that he set last season at the World Cup next year, he could cement himself as a true world class player of this generation.
CM- Christian Eriksen
The assist king! Eriksen has been absolutely phenomenal in 2017. More goals and assists than Couhtinho, who was included in the Ballon D’or. And almost single-handedly carrying Denmark to the world cup. He has created more chances for teammates than anyone else in the premier league since he arrived. The amount of balls he supplies to Dele and Kane is remarkable and as much as it pains me to say it, he could be on his way to a massive club in the next season or two.
He finally got his big move and since then he has been tearing it up. He was an absolute monster for Everton last season and nearly the PL top scorer. But since he went to Manchester he has shown just how good he is. Maybe if he had a few more months until this list was announced he would have been on there.
Dybala’s partner in crime. He may receive criticism for his weight and physical appearance but Higuain scores goals. Right when he arrived at Juventus his quality began to show. He got 24 league goals and a further 5 in the Champions League as he helped Juve to the final. Had it not been for Dybala’s brilliance Higuain may have found himself on the list.
FWD- Alexis Sanchez
When he wasn’t pouting around the field Alexis was by far Arsenal’s best player last season. He has 10 assists and 24 goals. For a player unhappy at a club that return is remarkable. And he is also very close to helping Chile secure back to back World Cup berth’s. Arsenal fans, enjoy him, because he may be gone by this time next year.
This is who I thought were the best players not included in the 30 man short list for the Ballon D’or. Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!