Ballon d'or 2018: The best XI to miss out
FIFA announced the 30-men shortlist for this year's Ballon d'Or prize yesterday, with most of the high profile names making the cut. Usual suspects Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo spearhead the nominees, whereas Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah, who both had stellar years of their own, are in contention too.
France, world champions this year in Russia, unsurprisingly have a massive contingent with Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, Hugo Lloris, Rafael Varane and N'Golo Kante, whereas European champions Real Madrid too make up heavily in the list.
However, there were still a few big names that didn't get over the line whilst they should've. Here's the best XI of such players:
Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Spain/Manchester United)
It wasn't a good year for Manchester United last time, finishing 19 points behind city rivals Manchester City in the league and also without a silverware to celebrate. But amid the erratic run, De Gea stood tall as always. The Spaniard saved his side's beacon on countless occasions as his 18 clean sheets were unparalleled in the league while the 115 saves he made were the fifth best figures in the league.
However, fans and critiques alike weren't convinced by his performance at the World Cup where the shot-stopper failed to emulate those heroics. He was visibly below his best and also made few glaring errors directly leading to goals as Spain were knocked out in the last 16.
It's coming to a cropper like this at the biggest stage of all that might have cost De Gea a place in the Ballon d'Or list.