Ballon d'Or 2017: 5 players who deserve to be nominated but weren't
The 30-man shortlist of players nominated for the 2017 Ballon d'Or has been released, and it has not gone down well with pundits and fans, alike
Most of the players on the list, with the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonardo Bonucci and Sergio Ramos were brilliant over the last season for club and country, and deserve the plaudits.
However, there are some names that deserved to be shortlisted, but were not. Here's a quick look at the top 5 players who were expected to make the cut, but didn't:
#5 Miralem Pjanic (Juventus, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Juventus had a brilliant 2016/17 as they won the Serie A title and finished runners-up to Real Madrid in the finals of Champions League. They lost Pirlo to retirement and Paul Pogba to Manchester United last season, and it gave the perfect chance for Pjanic to step up and say he is the man to marshal the midfield.
Pjanic was phenomenal last year and was consistent throughout the season. He scored 5 and assisted 9 more in Serie A. In the UEFA Champions League, he scored once and assisted 3 more.
It's not the whole picture. He had an impressive number of key passes per game (2) and impressive tackles per game (1.3 and 2 in Serie A and UCL respectively. He controlled the midfield and added a lot to Juventus' defensive and offensive play. He should consider himself unlucky not to make that list.