Yesterday, the 30 male and 20 female Ballon D’or finalists were named in an excruciatingly and unnecessarily long announcement process.
Seven (!!!) Liverpool players were named. Only one player in the entire Bundesliga was named (!!!).
So yes, there are some things out of whack. With that in mind, here’s a look at the biggest Ballon D’or snubs for both the men and women’s finalists.
Ballon D’or finalists (men)
But first! Here’s a list of the 30 men finalists.
| || ||2019 Ballon D'or Finalists|| ||
|Virgil van Dijk||Mohamed Salah||Sadio Mane||Georginio Wijnaldum||Alisson
|Trent Alexander-Arnold||Roberto Firmino||Lionel Messi||Cristiano Ronaldo||Kylian Mbappe
|Raheem Sterling||Kevin De Bruyne||Riyad Mahrez||Bernardo Silva||Sergio Aguero
|Antoine Griezmann||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ||Karim Benzema ||Frenkie De Jong ||Matthijs de Ligt
|Joao Felix ||Eden Hazard ||Kalidou Koulibaly ||Robert Lewandowski ||Hugo Lloris
|Marquinhos ||Son Heung-Min ||Dusan Tadic ||Marc-Andre ter Stegen ||Donny van de Beek
Pleasant surprises here include non-de Jong and de Ligt Ajax players (Donny van de Beek and Dusan Tadic) and defenders (Kalidou Koulibaly and Trent Alexander-Arnold).
Ballon D’or finalists (women)
Here are the 20 women finalists.
| ||2019 Ballon D'or Finalists||Female||
|Alex Morgan||Megan Rapinoe||Sam Kerr||Tobin Heath
|Lucy Bronze ||Rose Lavelle ||Ada Hegerberg ||Amandine Henry
|Nilla Fischer ||Sofia Jakobsson ||Kosovare Asllani ||Dzsenifer Marozsan
|Marta||Pernille Harder ||Lieke Martens ||Sarah Bouhaddi
|Vivianne Miedema ||Wendie Renard ||Sari van Veenendaal ||Ellen White
Ballon D’or biggest snubs (men)
So who’s missing from the list? There’s actually not too many.
For someone to be snubbed, that means someone else is clearly not as deserving. We’ll get to that in a minute. The snubs are:
- Andy Robertson, Liverpool: As important as his wing-back mate Trent Alexander-Arnold to Liverpool’s success. He had 13 assists across all competitions and was regarded as the best left-back in Europe by season’s end. Also captain’s Scotland’s national team.
- Ederson, Manchester City: Played all EPL and UCL games for Manchester City and gave up only 1 more domestic goal than Alisson.
- Jadon Sancho, Borussia Dortumnd: The Bundesliga is criminally under-represented on the list. Sancho was the best player on the second best team in the league. He also made the Three Lions national squad. Also, the Bundesliga has fewer representatives (1!!!) than Ligue Ugh! How is that possible?
- Luis Suarez, Barcelona: In an off-year, he tallied 21 La Liga goals and six assists. But it’s the press who votes and he’s not likable to them.
- Hakim Ziyech: Ridiculous he’s not on the list. 16 goals and 13 assists in the Eredivisie and a total John Wick’ing of all UCL opponents.
- Memphis Depay: He was awesome for Lyon (10 & 10). He did great in the UCL. And he was a rock for the Netherlands.
So who gets bumped for these six?
- Hugo Lloris, Tottenham: Underrated as a goalie for sure. But Ederson was better.
- Gini Wijnaldum, Liverpool: See, I’m not a total Liverpool homer! While Gini was a driving force for Dutch international success, Robbo was more vital to Liverpool’s overall success.
- Marquinhos, PSG: If the Bundesliga only gets 1 finalist, how does Ligue Ugh have more? It’s basically MLS with one super elite all-star squad. Defending Ligue 1 talent isn’t the same as doing it day-in, day-out in La Liga or the Premier League. That was highlighted in the UCL, as Marquinhos’ overall performance dropped against Liverpool, Napoli and Man U. Give this spot to Depay.
- Kevin de Bruyne, Manchester City: When healthy, I think KdB is the best player in the Premier League and top 5 in the world. He wasn’t very healthy last season. Ziyech was healthy had more of an impact.
- Riyad Mahrez, Manchester City: Caveat: I think Mahrez will be deserving of a top 30 selection after this season. He was more of a bit player for City last season. Would you really rather have Mahrez over Suarez?
- Karim Benzema, Real Madrid: This one hurts as I think Benzema is underrated. But his stats were no different than Suarez’s. He didn’t play internationally. And game-to-game Sancho had more of an overall impact.
Ballon D’or biggest snubs (women)
This one is more or less on point. Or better put: it’s harder to make a case for removal of some over others. The couple of notable snubs would be:
- Lindsay Horan, Thorns / USA: Third in the NWSL in goals in 2018 (13) and more or less the best central midfielder in the world. She’d get the nod over Tobin Heath.
- Eugénie Le Sommer, Lyon / France: Thin margins here but Le Sommer had an equal impact at Lyon as her teammate Dzsenifer Marozsan. She accomplished more at the international level too.