Ballon d’Or Shortlist Announced – No English Players On It, So Who Gets Your Vote?

Ollie Irish

26th, October 2010


By Ollie Irish

Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder made a very strong case for being voted World Player of the Year for 2010

The Ballon d’Or shortlist, aka the World Player of the Year shortlist, was announced today. These are the 23 men who made the cut:

Xabi Alonso (Spain), Dani Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Julio Cesar (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Holland), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), David Villa (Spain), Xavi (Spain)

Now you might have noticed something: the glaring lack of English players. Not one made the list. Zero. Nada. How depressing for fans of English football. Even the GREATEST LEAGUE IN THE WORLD only has three players represented: Chelsea’s Drogba, Arsenal’s Fabregas and (belatedly) Sunderland’s Gyan.

And the thing is, it’s very difficult to argue in favour of any English players, with the exception of Ashley Cole and perhaps Frank Lampard, who both had excellent seasons for Chelsea in 2009-10. Cole in particular would not have looked out of place on the list above.

The inclusion of Gyan smacks of tokenism though, and I would happily replace the Ghanaian striker with any one of a dozen superior players, including Cole or Lampard – and what about Diego Milito, who was exceptional for Inter and especially in the Champions League final. But hey, in a World Cup year you will tend to find the Ballon d’Or influenced by what happened in that showpiece event. I mean, Miroslav Klose had a shockingly poor domestic campaign but makes it onto the list based on a handful of good World Cup displays. Contrast that with Wayne Rooney, who was stellar for Man United but abject in South Africa.

As I wrote last month, I would give it to the exemplary Xavi. But who gets your vote? Click away…

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  1. oc says:

    Iniesta, just for that goal against Chelsea, coulda been 5 yrs ago, still love him for that. You seem surprised that no English players are on the list. Who would you suggest?

  2. Ollie Irish says:

    Well, I suggest Ashley Cole, but really I can’t complain about the lack of Englishmen.

  3. George says:

    I know he’s been awful since March, but Rooney did get 34 goals last season, that’s undoubtedly an impressive achievement. I’m not saying he deserves to win it, but he’s definitely a better player than Asamoah Gyan. Klose got nominated and he only managed 3 league goals last season. For the record, I voted for Messi, boring I know, but he’s simply the best player in the world right now.

  4. Scott Alexander says:

    How does Dani Alves make the Ballon d’Or shortlist and not Ashley Cole? Alves is the antithesis of Maicon. Brasil’s answer to Glenn Johnson.

  5. Ben says:

    Dani Alves is a far, far better player than Johnson, but I agree that Ashley Cole should be on there – for all his apparent personality flaws he’s the only England player who would get near a World XI for me.

    I’d give the thing to Messi just on the basis of his phenomenal performances in the second half of last season, but I suspect that in World Cup year Sneijder or Iniesta will get it.

  6. deckard says:

    i’m with u on this one ollie. xavi has been the best midfielder in europe for the past 3 years but has barely been acknowledged for it in terms of accolades. i think he was uefa’s best player of euro 08, and that’s it. his passing, composure, and vision can’t be matched by any other midfielder right now including sneijder, lampard, or ozil – who’s only just arriving. in fact, xavi’s barcelona mate iniesta is only one who comes close.

    and as a dutchman i don’t think sneijder deserves it anyway. last season he was very on and off for inter and the same can be said of his world cup performance. in fact, the most notable thing was that he scored a hat-trick of extremely lucky goals. vs japan, brazil(1st goal), and uruguay.

  7. Del says:

    For me it’s between Gyan, Sneijder and Robben. They’re the best! ^^

    How the hell did Messi make it on that list? He did absolutely nothing at the World Cup! And from what I heard Villa’s barely scored this season.

    What exactly gets a footballer nominated for this award? -_-

  8. […] Ballon d'Or Shortlist Announced – No English Players On It, So Who … […]

  9. lucky says:

    i think ashley cole should have make the list by replacing dani alves.

  10. Anonymous says:

    messi still remain the best player so far.

  11. sammiee says:

    ohhh well i wanted javier hernandez balcazar (chicharito) he’z a gud player

  12. sammiee says:

    0hhh i thought javier hernandez balcazar (chicharito) he’z a gud player aswell

  13. Mrs.Krkic says:

    Messi. End of sentance.

  14. Joe says:

    Messi achieved dick all last year outside of Spain. It’s got to be Sneijder, hasn’t it? CL and World Cup finals, joint top scorer in South Africa, won everything domestically… It’s him or Forlan for me.

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