5 midfielders who deserve to win the Ballon d'Or 2017
Why do midfielders not receive the recognition they so richly deserve?
There's got to be some kind of irony somewhere on how the midfielder - that most ubiquitous of footballing species - so often gets overlooked for the awards that matter. This may, in a large part, be due to the over-reliance of statistics and numbers based objectivity when it comes to the judging of said awards.
While no one should ever scoff at the importance of numbers, or the oft thrown about cliche that is "goals win you matches", what we should also not overlook is the fact that a team is more than just its forwards... take the best midfielders out of the equation and even the best forwards will struggle to find the back of the net.
Keeping that in mind, here's a list of five midfielders who could have/should have challenged for the Ballon d'Or alongside those two this year
#5 Miralem Pjanic
The Bosnian created a furore in Rome when he left AS Roma for Juventus in the summer of 2016, but as 2017 progressed before our eyes, his decision was validated as he eased into the regista, or 'Pirlo', role with ease and quietly went about becoming the hub of Max Allegri's new look Juventus juggernaut.
Juventus' spectacular 2016-17 season, in which they came within winning a historic treble - having sewed up Coppa Italia and Seria A, the Bianconeri lost to Real Madrid in the final - and Pjanic's easy distribution and ability to set the tempo of the game were at the very heart of this run.