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Mohamed Salah nowhere to be seen on FIFA 18 Team of the Year shortlist

Salah has had a way better year than the likes of Dries Mertens and Antoinne Greizzmann.

News 09 Jan 2018, 17:25 IST

Liverpool v Leicester City - Premier League

Mo Salah has been on fire for Liverpool this season

What's the story?

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar all made it to the list of FIFA 18 Team of the Year (TOTY) nominees which were unveiled earlier today.

However, the 55-man shortlist has some surprising exclusions including Liverpool’s man-in-form Mohamed Salah. The prolific goal-scorer is nowhere to be seen on the shortlist despite his heroics in the Premier League.

In case you didn’t know…

The TOTY is a team of players which is released on an annual basis. It will be formed of three attacking players, three midfielders, four defenders and one goalkeeper in a 4-3-3 formation.

Blue In-Form cards will be awarded to a few selected players based on their real performance on the previous calendar year.

The heart of the matter

Apart from Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar, the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane and Coutinho made it to the list of Forward nominees.

The shocking exclusion, though, is that of Mohamed Salah. The former AS Roma winger has been on fire ever since he joined Liverpool in the summer. He has already scored 23 goals in all competitions this term and has been a vital cog in Jurgen Klopp’s setup.

Last month itself, he notched up six goals in just four league matches and thereby, bagged his second consecutive Player of the Month award. He even won the CAF African Player of the Year award in 2017 after inspiring Egypt to World Cup qualification.

What’s next?

The final TOTY will be announced on 15th January, 2018. A carefully curated list of media, athletes and EA Sports FIFA community members will vote for the different players.

Author’s take

That Salah is missing from the shortlist seems a little harsh on the player. Yes, the TOTY is reflective of the calendar year, and not just the season, but still, Salah has had a better year in terms of productivity and chance creation than the likes of Dries Mertens and Antoine Griezmann.

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