Ballon d'Or 2018: 6 players who should have been nominated
France football magazine yesterday released its 30 man list of nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or award.
The European Golden Ball is the most prestigious individual award in the world of football, as all the history attached to it places it in high esteem among fans and players alike, with footballers considering it the highest personal honour that could be accorded them.
The list of nominees understandably generates a lot of debate among fans and pundits, with most scrutinizing the list to find out who deserved a nomination while making a case for the exclusion of others.
The limited spots available on the nomination list means that there is always going to be some notable exclusions, as everybody cannot be nominated. However, some names on this particular list are rather baffling, all the more so by the exclusions on their behalf.
Here are five players whose exclusion from the list is totally unjustified:
#5 Blaise Matuidi
Arguably one of the most underrated midfielders in the world, the 31-year-old Toulouse born powerhouse goes about his business in a very efficient yet non-flamboyant way.
In his debut season in Italy, Matuidi helped the Old Lady of Turin lift its seventh consecutive Scudetti title, playing 32 matches across the Serie A campaign, scoring three goals. He also contributed to the Coppa Italia triumph, playing five matches, as well as in the club's Champions League quarter-final run, where he started nine times and scored two goals.
At the World Cup, he was also at his imperious best, starring in a star-studded French midfield which triumphed in Russia.
He contributed to France's triumph, despite being played out of position by Deschamps in a wide role on the left as against his preferred role in the centre, but was still effective in providing defensive cover for Paul Pogba and N'golo Kante, thereby reducing the amount of space offered their opponents.
Matuidi is the quintessential definition of a box-to-box midfielder, and his starring role in Juve's league, as well as France's World Cup triumph, should have seen him nominated.
His exclusion is made more jarring by the inclusion of his international teammate Paul Pogba, who Matuidi arguably outshone at the World Cup, and who undoubtedly had a better club campaign than the Manchester United man, but missed out due to the popularity of the former most expensive player in history.