10 players who deserved to be in the FIFA FIFPro XI shortlist
Football and awards always go hand in hand. While players keep reiterating how awards do not matter as much, evidence keeps pointing to the contrary. It has not been long since the dust has settled on Luka Modric winning the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award ahead of former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo. Now, the next one, FIFA FIFPro XI shortlist, a precursor to crowning FIFA Player of the Year is here.
This shortlist, which picks 55 best-performing players from the previous season (2017/18), has expectedly thrown up a few surprises. While the debate rumbles on regarding undeserving names on the list, there are a set of players who deserved to be on the shortlist, some more than the other.
These players had stellar seasons for their clubs and/or countries and have played a big role in their club's fortunes. However, they do not find themselves on the list, stirring up another awards' debate. While a case can be made for several players, let us take a look at the top 10 who definitely should be on the FIFPro shortlist.
#10 Nicolas Otamendi - Manchester City/Argentina
Kicking off the list is Manchester City's defensive stalwart from last season, Nicolas Otamendi. The Argentine was Pep Guardiola's trusted lieutenant at the back as the Citizens became the first team in the Premier League to win 100 points.
In fact, the 2017/18 season was easily the best in the 30-year old's career as he finally lived up to his nickname of "The General", fully committed to the City cause and scoring crucial goals. Further, the City no.30 played a solid role in the Manchester club's run into the Champions League quarterfinals.
Hence, he is unlucky to miss out from the shortlist and is our first entry in this list.