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Luis Suarez, the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 odd man out

Photo Courtesy: Sky Sports
Photo Courtesy: Sky Sports

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has not been included in the final three players shortlisted for the prestigious 2015 Fifa Ballon d’Or, despite being pretty impressive this year.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have dominated the Ballon d’Or award since its inception in 2010, unsurprisingly made the final cut along with Barcelona forward Neymar.

However, the ‘S’ of the MSN of Messi-Suarez-Neymar, found himself out of the reckoning when the final list of three was announced.

Although all three finalists of the 2015 Ballon d’Or have scored more goals than Suarez – with Ronaldo and Messi both netting 48 goals and Neymar scoring 46 – the former Liverpool striker has proved to be an important team player for Barcelona and his country, amassing a total of 22 assists in 57 appearances in all competition this year, in addition to his 42 goals.

Only Messi (24) has provided more assists than the Uruguayan in 2015, with Ronaldo and Neymar setting up 14 and 13 goals respectively this year.

For the 2014 edition of the award, the former Ajax man, who enjoyed a stellar season with Liverpool in 2013/14 scoring 31 goals in 33 Premier League games, was left out of even the preliminary 23-man shortlist.

This was possibly due to his on-field conduct as Suarez was handed a hefty suspension (a four-month ban from all football-related activities as well as a nine-match international ban) after he was found guilty of biting Giorgio Chiellini during Uruguay and Italy’s clash in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup.

This year, although Suarez, who has become even more prolific after joining Barcelona, was included in the 23-man preliminary shortlist for the 2015 Ballon d’Or, he has not made the final cut.

Messi, who was recently named as the best player in the La Liga for the 2014/15 campaign expressed his disappointment after it was revealed that Suarez was not included in the final three-man Ballon d’Or selection.

“I’d have liked to be on [the] Ballon d’Or podium with Neymar and Luis [Suarez], said Messi, according to the Daily Mirror. “Luis deserved it, but Cristiano also did well. We’ll have a good time.”

Suarez’s exclusion from the last three of the 2015 Ballon d’Or may have been due to a number of reasons. However, he will certainly have a better chance of making it next year if he continues playing in the same way.

How the Ballon D’Or selection process works

The initial 23-man shortlist is chosen by a panel of specialists consisting of Fifa members and a group of select journalists from France Football magazine (the publication that created the Ballon d’Or in 1956).

Once the preliminary shortlist has been created, the managers and skippers of national teams under Fifa’s governance as well as one respected journalist from each country nominate their own top three players.

The first player in these people’s list gets five points, while the second and the third get three points and one point respectively.

After calculating all the votes from the managers, captains and journalists of different footballing countries, a final three-man shortlist is announced.

Although it is shown as though the voting for the three finalists are done again, in reality, the winner of the Ballon d’Or is already determined in the initial selection itself. This means that whichever player gets maximum votes, during the selection of the three finalists, wins the Ballon d’Or.

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