The Ballon D’or shortlist was recently announced, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo ready to lock horns again, but there were a few candidates who missed out who certainly did enough to make the shortlist.
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
The big Pole joined Bayern Munich in the summer from Dortmund after 3 blistering seasons for Borussia where he managed over 25 goals in consecutive seasons. He has scored 9 goals in 16 games for Bayern and has adapted quickly to Pep Guardiola’s unique style of play. With players like Robben, Ribery and Mario Gotze behind him, there is a lot of expectation for him to perform and it’s been so far so good for Lewa. He finished top scorer in the Bundesliga the season he left Dortmund.
Thiago Silva (PSG)
Considered to be the best centre back in the world, his reputation was slightly tarnished when Germany demolished Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup semi-final this summer. Regardless of that, Silva on his day is impossible to get past and he has been a talismanic figure at the back in PSG’s domination of the French league. He led from the front for a below par Brazil and managed to get them to the semi-final with some important performances against Chile and Colombia.
Arturo Vidal (Juventus)
The best box to box midfielder on the planet at the moment. Vidal attracted big interest from Man Utd this summer and he was on the verge of a move to Manchester before the Angel Di Maria transfer was finalised. PSG are reportedly interested in the Chilean and with good reason after 3 brilliant seasons at Juventus. He is the perfect central midfielder, strong, athletic, great positional and defensive awareness as well as a very powerful shot. He was instrumental for Chile at the World Cup and it is a surprise not to see him make the 23 man shortlist.
Vincent Kompany (Man City)
Man City’s ultimate leader. When Manchester City don’t win you can usually count on Kompany not being on the pitch. His vocal approach is a massive help to all of his team mates and you can see he is a player that everyone respects hugely. He led City to their 2nd title in 2 years. He also captained Belgium to their 1st World Cup since 2002, where despite going in as favourites they never got going as a team unit.
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Alexis has made an explosive start to life in the Premier League, netting 13 times in 16 games and carrying basically the entire Arsenal team. He suits the mould of the Premier League. Strong, low centre of gravity and an incredible turning circle. He impressed for Chile, notable scoring the equaliser in their eventual lose to Brazil, which was a game they fully deserved to win. When players like Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott return, it is expected the Chilian could surpass his amazing start to life in the Premier League.
Diego Godin (Athletico Madrid)
A pivotal figure in Madrid’s 1st league title for nearly a decade, Godin has established himself as 1 of the best centre backs in the world in a very short space of time. Simone made him captain and it comes as a real surprise that a team that won the league and reached the Champions League final doesn’t make the cut. He scored the crucial goal in the 1-1 draw with Barcelona, the 1st goal in the Champions League final and he captained Uruguay to the World Cup scoring against Italy in the process.
Marco Reus (Dortmund)
It has recently been announced that Reus suffered an injury that will rule him out for 4 months and having missed the World Cup through injury it is a torrid time for the German. Technically 1 of the most gifted talents around, his array of goals for Borussia show just how good he is. He can score from anywhere on the pitch with varying levels of spin, power and accuracy. Courted by Real Madrid and Bayern, a big move could be on the horizon for Reus in the summer.
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
His work went unnoticed at Spurs, but now Luka is playing at the highest level and showing just how good he is. He was an unsung hero in Real Madrids ‘La Decima’ campaign and he was at the heart of everything good about Real Madrid last season. he played 51 times for Real last season and was the driving force in a Croatian team, who were largely disappointing at the World Cup finals. This hasn’t affected his game this season and he has picked up where he left off starting 14 times for the European Champions.
Sergio Aguero (Man City)
It seems ludicrous that the Argentine wouldn’t be included in the list after some stunning performances for City of late and last season in their title winning campaign. 39 goals in 50 games in the calendar year is a phenomenal return and although he had a poor World Cup there is no doubting he is 1 of the most feared strikers around. Bayern Munich were on the receiving end of this on Teusday when Aguero netted a stunning hat trick to give City a much needed boost in their hope for Champions League qualification.
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Although this would be a controversial decision, FIFA are hardly the perfect role models themselves. Without question the best player not on the shortlist, Suarez nearly led Liverpool to their 1st Premier League crown and 1st league title in over 25 years, bagging 31 league goals in 33 games. This saw him win the Golden Shoe award (tied with Cristiano Ronaldo) as Europe’s top marksman. This helped him secure a £65m deal to Barcelona where he recently scored his 1st goal in the Champions League against Ajax.