5 players shockingly omitted from the shortlist for FIFA's Best Player 2017 award
As soon as FIFA announced the list of nominees shortlisted for the Best Player in 2017, fans scanned the list and shrugged their shoulders. All the usual suspects were named and since it was a 24-man shortlist, nobody really cared.
Of course, outrage and divisive opinions don't come to a head until the final three nominees are announced. But double-check the list and you will wonder why certain names are not on the list at the expense of others.
For example, Andres Iniesta's inclusion left even Barcelona fans scratching their heads. The midfielder was clearly past his best last season when the Catalan club had just a Copa del Rey trophy to show for their efforts. The 33-year-old ended the season with 13 starts, no goals and just three assists in La Liga.
So who should have been there in his place? As FIFA claims, they reward the best "regardless of championship or nationality, for their respective achievements during the period 20 November 2016 to 2 July 2017."
Note: All stats courtesy of WhoScored
1) Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco)
Among all the players named on the shortlist, it comes as a surprise that not even a single AS Monaco player was named. The French club won the Ligue 1 title and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League against all odds.
And the biggest star among the lot was young Kylian Mbappe. The French striker scorched the earth in France with his stunning displays since the turn of the year and turned a number of heads at clubs around Europe.
If not for Neymar's sudden move to PSG, Mbappe might well have been the first player to shatter the £100m ceiling in the transfer market. With 26 goals in what was effectively half a season, it was shocking to see the teenager miss out on the shortlist.
Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year... Ligue 1 Team of the Year... Champions League Team of the Season... What on earth made the panel discredit a player like him anyway?