EPL 201617: France Football explain why Eden Hazard was left out of the Ballon D'or shortlist
The annual prestigious award recognised for the best individual footballer of the year, the Ballon d'Or, is back under the sole control of magazine France Football following a split with FIFA.
Between 2010 and 2015, FIFA's World Player of the Year award was combined with the Ballon d'Or to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or, which was decided by a combination of votes from national team managers, captains and journalists.
The publication revealed it’s 30 man shortlist for the prestigious award last night and also identified a group of players who were categorised as close to making the cut.
Eden Hazard was picked out by the France Football publication, as they revealed his ‘insipid’ form in the 2015/16 year as the reason behind the Belgian not making the shortlist for the honour.
“If there was only one put forward, it would probably be him. Seeing Eden Hazard away from this list can be an anomaly. There is nothing in view of the insipid performances of the Belgian during most of 2016.”
“After 22nd place in 2013, 21st in 2014 and a very nice eighth position last year, Hazard restarts from zero.”
Along with Hazard, Benzema was another player identified as close to making the shortlist, but due to his absence from EURO 2016 he was not included in the shortlist for the award this year. The publication also added that the Frenchman Benzema did not make an impact in big games for Madrid during the year, which was another factor for the exclusion of the player.
Arsenal’s duo of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and United’s David de Gea are other notable absentees from the Premier League. Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus, Jerome Boateng from Bayern Munich and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic are other players considered unfortunate to not make the shortlist, after all having stellar performances for their respective clubs.
Real Madrid has the most entrants for the awards with six of the players who guided them to Champions League glory, back in May. Reigning Premier League champions Leicester City has two nominees for the award – prolific English striker Jaime Vardy and Algerian midfield wizard Riyad Mahrez.
The 30 man shortlist will be brought down to 3, after which the biggest individual honour in world football will be revealed by France Football.