Performance analysis of 2019 Ballon d’Or nominees for the period Jan to Oct' 19, Part 2: Midfielders
The 30 nominees for the 2019 Ballon d'Or award, announced by the French football magazine French Football, comprise players from 12 different clubs and 15 different nationalities.
Continuing on from the first part of the 2019 Ballon d'Or nominee player report card which dealt with strikers, this second part analyses the performance of the midfielders, for the period of January to October 2019.
Similar to the evaluation for strikers, the evaluation for midfielders also considers 2 points for each goal scored, 1 point for an assist, and 5 points for any title won for club or country.
Let us meet the midfield men who have been nominated for the prestigious 2019 Ballon d'Or.
#9 Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona, Netherlands)
Frenkie de Jong starred prominently for Ajax in the first half of the year. He inspired a youthful Dutch side past defending champions Real Madrid and Italian giants Juventus and onto the semifinals of the Champions League.
For his versatility in both central midfield and defence, De Jong was signed by Barcelona for €75m during the off-season. The 22-year-old scored his first goal for his new club in a 5-2 LaLiga victory over Valencia.
De Jong was awarded the Eredivisie Player of the Year in February 2019, completing 354 of 390 passes and making 53 ball recoveries. The youngster has also scored one goal in 6 Euro 2020 Qualifiers for Netherlands.
De Jong doesn't score goals by the truckload, as his return of 3 goals and 5 assists in 46 games for club and country during the first 10 months of the year would suggest. But the young Dutchman has a high work rate and doesn't dither from doing the 'dirty work' in midfield and defence, which enables his teammates to shine at the other end of the field. .
#8 Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool, Netherlands)
Georginio Wijnaldum starred prominently in the Liverpool midfield as the Anfield club won their first Champions League title in 14 years, beating fellow Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur in the final.
The UEFA Nations League Midfielder of the Tournament has scored one goal in 15 club games this season. He has a total of 10 goals and 3 assists in 45 games for club and country during the first 10 months of the year.
Wijnaldum is adept in both a defensive midfield role or as a playmaker. The 28-year-old Dutchman is a pivotal link between Liverpool's formidable attack and impressive defence, but his work often goes unnoticed.
#7 Eden Hazard (Real Madrid, Belgium)
The creative fulcrum of the English side's midfield, Eden Hazard is at ease in a number of offensive roles but mostly operates as a left winger, cutting into central positions to unleash his stronger right foot. Hazard won the Europa League for Chelsea before joining Real Madrid for €100m during the off-season.
The diminutive Belgium captain has scored one goal in eight games for his new club and has scored thrice for his country in six Euro 2020 Qualifier games.
During the period January to October 2019, Hazard has scored a total of 26 goals and provided 16 assists in 47 games for club and country.