Luongo, Vargas, Atsu, Okazaki – The Ballon D’Or Preliminary Shortlist Includes Some Very Surprising Names

Chris Wright

2nd, October 2015



Not that there’s a cat in hell’s chance they’ll be on the stage in Zurich come January, but it would appear that the likes of Harry Kane, Shinji Okazaki, Philippe Coutinho and Wilfried Bony have all found their way, slightly surprisingly in some cases, onto this year’s 59-man Ballon d’Or initial shortlist.

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, the FIFA shortlist not only contains the names of usual suspects such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but also includes nods for the likes of bench-bound Everton/Bournemouth winger Christian Atsu, QPR perma-sub Eduardo Vargas and ex-Swindon midfielder Massimo Luongo…


We can only assume Luongo, Vargas, Atsu et al are included for their international form, as at club level there’s really not much to crow about.

Of course, the Ballon d’Or shortlist is whittled down to 23 in December, then down again to just three names before a winner is crowned in January – Messi, Ronaldo and A. N. Other.

Posted in Newsnow

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  1. Adam says:

    Luongo is at QPR now. Was incredibly impressive during the Asian Cup; would explain it.

  2. Iván Rocha says:

    Ethnic quota is the key. They have to fill the list with some players from every confederation, so that they don’t feel bad or something.

    Still doesn’t explain Ospina, though.

  3. Straight Dave says:

    It’s difficult to give credence to a list supposedly featuring the best 59 players in the world without David Silva’s name on it. And this is coming from a United fan.

  4. What4 says:

    Well it’s not really a *short*list if it contains 59 names is it? After the usual suspects they had to make up the numbers and just got bored.

  5. Bykette says:

    @Ivan Rocha, surly doesn’t explain Ozil’s absence from this list either…
    That Ballon d’Or has become bullshit anyways…

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