Football

Van Persie snub a Ballon d'Or disgrace

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Stats show RVP is Europe's second best striker behind Ronaldo in 2011. (©GettyImages)
Stats show RVP is Europe's second best striker behind Ronaldo in 2011. (©GettyImages).

Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie has been snubbed on the shortlist for the World Player of the Year award.

The Ballon d'Or is a who's who of the best players from across the world, with Barcelona playmaker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo amongst the contenders to claim the coveted prize.

And, whilst the Dutch hitman was unlikely to win the aware ahead of such esteemed opposition, to not be included amongst the top 23 is quite simply scandalous.

Eight players from the Spanish and European Champions make the list, and whilst it's hard to argue against the majority, Cesc Fabregas' inclusion certainly raises an eyebrow on the basis of the previous 12 months.

Despite injury playing a significant part in his efforts during 2010, Van Persie has scored 33 goals in 37 matches this year, and domestically has 28 goals in 27 games. That record places the striker second across all of Europe's top leagues behind Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of goals-per-game ratio.

And yet Fabregas, who has missed a large chunk of 2011 through injury, makes the list after completing his move to the Nou Camp in the summer transfer window. The Spaniard himself admitted his surprise at being in contention for the list, let alone making it to the final stage.

Manchester United winger Nani also gets the nod over RVP, and whilst the Portuguese player's performances have drastically improved over the past year at Old Trafford, few neutrals would pick the 24-year-old as the better player in the last 12 months.

Going through the list of contenders, an argument could be made for Van Persie ahead of five other players - Abidal, Benzema, Alvez, Rooney and Schweinsteiger.

Rooney? The Manchester United striker has scored 19 goals in 27 Barclays Premier League games in 2011, and two goals in five games for England after one in 11 last year. Van Persie has 11 goals in 19 games for the two years with Holland, and also helped his country to a World Cup final.

Whilst goals aren't everything, it's hard to see how eight strikers (including Ronaldo) make the list ahead of the 28-year-old former Feyenoord starlet.

Quite simply, his omission is wrong and a major error on the part of FIFA, who should be embarrassed by the decision.

FIFA Ballon d'Or 2011 shortlist:

Eric Abidal (France), Sergio Aguero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Gerard Pique (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suarez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain).

Topics:
Arsenal
Robin Van Persie
Football
Premier League
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