Eden Hazard's Ballon d'Or shortlist snub has been explained

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So we now know which 30 players are in contention to win the 2016 Ballon d'Or after France Football revealed the initial shortlist for the award that is set to be presented in January.

Football's most prestigious individual accolade always draws plenty of criticism and even though the usual suspects have been included, there are always one or two surprise exclusions.

From the Premier League, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and David de Gea were arguably the biggest names to not make the shortlist while La Liga stars made up almost half of the 30 nominations.

One of the less shocking omissions, however, was Chelsea's Eden Hazard, who endured a tough 2015/16 season.

The Belgian struggled to make the same impact he had during the previous campaign and has only recently rediscovered his best form under Antonio Conte.

Nevertheless, the organisers France Football have explained why Hazard missed out on a nomination.

"If there was only one put forward, it would probably be him," the French magazine said, as per ESPN.

"Seeing Eden Hazard away from this list can be an anomaly. There is nothing in view of [the] insipid performances of the Belgian during most of 2016.

"After 22nd place in 2013, 21st in 2014 and a very nice eighth position last year, Hazard restarts [from] zero."

Ouch, that's pretty brutal!

They also revealed why Real Madrid's Karim Benzema missed out despite six of his club teammates being included - citing his absence from Euro 2016 as the main factor.

Adding: "We know why we did not see [him] at the Euro. And his absence in the major competition of the year necessarily weighted the balance."

Despite both being snubbed for the award, it's unlikely either would have been in serious contention to be judged as the world's best player for 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo remains the heavy favourite to pick up his fourth Ballon d'Or, with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann expected to make up the final three-man shortlist later this year.

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Premier League
Ballon d'Or
John Terry
Eden Hazard

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