The 55 man FifPro shortlist has been announced (via FifPro.org), and most of the usual suspects have been included. There are some shocking omissions however, and a number of players who really don’t deserve to be there.
Mesut Özil has enjoyed a phenomenal 2015, and after a massive improvement last season following his return from injury, he’s kicked on further and been arguably the best playmaker in Europe this season. The German international is absent from the list though, with Alexis Sanchez the only Arsenal star present.
He’s been setting records for assists this season, and few are able to replicate his vision or passing range. His absence from the list is a travesty, but if it was filled with worthy candidates then perhaps you could understand.
It’s populated with a number of undeserving stars however, who haven’t come close to matching Özil’s achievements over the last 11 months.
Wayne Rooney is the most obvious, and it seems he’s on there merely for his name. He’s been distinctly average for both club and country, while Manchester United have been underachieving by their lofty standards – despite currently being sat second in the Premier League table.
Eden Hazard also makes the list, and while the award is for the year as opposed to the season you can’t overlook how poor he’s been this season. He was overhyped somewhat last season, and was given a number of accolades despite several players arguably performing better than him in the Premier League. But this season he’s been downright poor, as have the entire Chelsea team.
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Özil is starting to get the recognition he deserves in some areas, but there’s clearly some way to go. These awards are unfortunately a popularity contest more often than not though, so what do they actually mean? Not much it would seem (unless Alexis Sanchez wins it, in which case it’s the best thing ever).