FIFA unveiled the shortlist for it’s prestigious Ballon D’Or award and there were few complaints about the 23 players who were honoured...or were there?
While Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to battle it out for the prestigious prize there appears to be a few notable omissions.
In fact the list for the main prize seems, well, a little short, while some don't deserve their spot amongst the world's football elite– and we simply won’t stand for it any longer. Here is GMF’s alternative Ballon D’Or nominations.
Who Should Be In
Joe Hart, Manchester City
The Manchester City goalkeeper has proved beyond doubt that he deserves to be ranked alongside the best goalkeepers in the world right now – even leading striker for Manchester City’s main rivals Wayne Rooney admitted he is probably the best shot-stopper in the world at the moment.
His performances in the Champions League this season have taken him to the next level, but at Euro 2012 he was exceptional, while he was vital in helping City win their first league crown in 44 years.
David Silva, Manchester City
It takes something to be considered Spain’s leading light, but at Euro 2012, that’s just what David Silva was. Although Andres Iniesta was voted player of the tournament, it was Silva who looked so dangerous and helped La Roja defend their crown.
His form for City was also, unsurprisingly, exceptional, and had he not tailed off slighty he surely would have beaten Robin van Persie to the PFA Player of the Year award.
Edinson Cavani, Napoli
One of the most feared strikers in Europe, Napoli’s Edinson Cavani terrorised Chelsea and Manchester City in the Champions League last season.
His tally of 23 goals last season made him Serie A’s third highest scorer while this term he already has six goals. His form has been good enough to see him linked with a move to Europe’s biggest clubs in recent years. His movement and finishing is simply devastating.
Who Should Be Out
Mario Balotelli, Manchester City
Why always him? Because, although he impressed at Euro 2012, his frustrating wastefulness in not fulfilling his potential means he doesn’t deserve to be amongst the world’s best just yet.
He almost got himself chucked out of City by Roberto Mancini, the man who he calls his ‘father’ while the off-field antics only damage his reputation. He needs a quieter, more impressive season this time round before he can move to the next level.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
While Rooney didn’t exactly have a bad season last time – he’s tally of 27 goals made him the second deadliest striker in the Premier League - it was his inability to lead Manchester United to a trophy, while for England he failed to inspire them to glory at Euro 2012 that meant he fell just short of expectations.
Harsh to lump all that failure at one man’s door? Maybe, but he is rated so highly and considered one of the finest of his generation, and to see his all round performances fall below that level while others were excelling, especially for his country, means he needs to improve. To borrow a tacky marketing slogan, The Manchester United striker really needs to take the stage more often.
Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich
There are few who could deny that Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon deserve their nominations for the Ballon D’Or this year. But when it comes to Manuel Neuer the water certainly gets a little muddier.
Neuer is a fine goalkeeper who has done excellently to win over some skeptical Bayern Munich fans, while he performed wondrously against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final.
But when put head to head with Joe Hart, it seems as though the Englishman had the better season and was more consistent, and therefore deserves the nod over his German counterpart.