Hugo Lloris, Karim Benzema and Diego Godin have made the Ballon d’Or 2018 shortlist. But players like David de Gea, Paulo Dybala and Lewandowski have missed out.
Juventus forward Paulo Dybala and Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski have missed out on the 2018 Ballon d’Or. They are among several other big names who have missed out after the announcement of the 30-strong list of nominees. Both Dybala and Lewandowski were in contention for the 2017 award after title-winning seasons with their respective clubs. But despite retaining those crowns and enjoying fine campaigns. They were overlooked by the journalists and national team coaches and captains who took part in France Football’s 2018 vote.
Karim Benzema scored just 5 league goals in 32 appearances for Real Madrid last season. But surprisingly he is in the running for this year’s award.
Some of Europe’s finest talents know that they will not be named the world’s best player in December. Here are 10 of the biggest stars who failed to make the cut.
Argentina international Dybala would perhaps admit himself that he had a slow start to the 2018-19 season with Juventus. But his haul of 22 goals in 33 Serie A appearances, his career-best, made him one of the Bianconeri’s key players last season. He will be disappointed not to be among the Ballon d’Or nominees.
Iniesta may have stepped out of the spotlight of European football by joining Vissel Kobe in the J.League. But he was nevertheless a key member of the Barcelona team that won a league and cup double in 2017-18.
Since featuring on the Ballon d’Or shortlist in 2017, 40-year-old Buffon won his ninth Serie A title with Juventus. He contested with Alphonse Areola for the number one shirt at Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. The veteran stopper may feel he deserved one more chance to be named the world’s best.
Lewandowski scored 41 goals in all competitions for Bayern Munich in 2017-18. He netted another 8 goals in 10 games so far this season. This gives him every right to feel disgruntled about his omission.
Dani Alves was named in the FIFPro World XI after helping Paris Saint-Germain win the Ligue 1 title. But he failed to make the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or and, at the age of 35, he might not get another chance.
When Bonucci made the shortlist for the 2017 award, he was fresh from winning his sixth consecutive Serie A title with Juventus. A year later, he is back in Turin but recovering his best form after a disappointing season at AC Milan.
Barcelona paid Liverpool a reported €120million to take Coutinho to Camp Nou. He scored eight goals in 18 appearances as the Blaugrana won LaLiga, but sadly it was not enough to earn him a place on the Ballon d’Or shortlist.
David de Gea
De Gea is widely regarded as the world’s best goalkeeper. He also featured recently in the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2018. But De Gea’s personal achievements have been overshadowed by Spain and Manchester United’s recent struggles.
Higuain’s last season at Juventus was not his best. But with 23 goals in all competitions he was more lethal in 2017-18 than Benzema.
While his Real Madrid rival Sergio Ramos is in the running for this year’s Ballon d’Or, Barcelona defender Pique misses out. Perhaps he will console himself with his 2017-18 LaLiga and Copa del Rey titles.