4 Unlucky players to miss out on the Ballon d’Or in the past decade
The Ballon d’Or is the highest individual accolade a footballer can aspire for. Though the Ballon d’Or is no longer associated with FIFA, it still remains the most prestigious award on the circuit.
Recently, the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or was announced in phases. As expected, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi headlined the list. The duo has maintained a duopoly over the award with them sharing it equally over the past 10 years.
Premier League stars such as Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Kevin De Bruyne also made the shortlist on the weight of their performances. Apart from Salah though, it looks highly unlikely that the Premier League will have a nomination in the Top 3.
A couple of months earlier, FIFA handed out its ‘Best’ awards. The awarding of the Best Men’s Player to Luka Modric was a welcome change and it signalled that the award wasn’t given solely based on raw statistics.
However, this hasn’t always been the case over the past decade. There have been numerous players who have put in stellar performances throughout a season and yet haven’t been able to get their hands on the coveted prize. Through this article, we would look at four such players who could feel hard done by to have not been on the receiving end of the award.
Here is a look at those players:
#4 Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan and the Netherlands)
Wesley Sneijder was tipped for success at a very young age by many due to his precocious talent. However, he couldn’t really unlock his potential until he made the move to the San Siro.
The Dutchman arrived in Italy in the summer of 2009 and immediately made an impact. Blessed with the ability to play pin-point passes, Sneijder quickly became the heartbeat of the all-conquering Inter Milan side of 2009-10. Playing as an attacking midfielder, he helped in unlocking defences while also providing ammunition from outside the box.
Sneijder’s performances were a major driving force behind Inter’s unprecedented treble in the 2009-10 season. He helped set up the win against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League quarter finals while also scoring the equalising goal against Barcelona in the first leg of the semi-final. To cap it off, he provided the perfect pass for Milito to fire home the first goal of the final.
Additionally, Sneijder enjoyed a stellar World Cup in the summer of 2010, where Netherlands narrowly lost out in the final to Spain.
Not many people are able to win a treble with their club and also perform admirably on the international stage in the same season. Thus, his name not even appearing on the three-man shortlist seemed a bit harsh. For the crucial role he played in his team’s successes, he surely deserved the Ballon d’Or.
Therefore, he makes it to our list at No.4.