France Football announced the elite 30-man-list for the 2021 Ballon d’Or accolade, which included the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewadowski, Kevin De Bruyne among others. All these listed players have had great 2020-21 season and have been influential at their club in one way or the other. But on the other hand, there have been some marquee players who have been snubbed from the prestigious list.
With Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski being the favorites to add to their individual brilliance, there were some players who at least deserved to be named in the 30-man-nominee list. Justifying the same, here we are going to take a look at the top 5 players and discuss just why they had earned every right to be alongside the best in the world.
Top Players Snubbed from Ballon D’or 2021 30-Man-List
- Emiliano Martinez
Club- Aston Villa
There is no denying that Argentina’s Copa America 2021 triumph has made Lionel Messi’s case to win his seventh Ballon D’Or very strong. Yet goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez had a huge role to play in that. Having seen significant rise in his popularity, Martinez was pivotal in his country’s progress when he paved Argentina’s way past Colombia in the semi-final penalty shootout.
The 29-year-old goalkeeper also made crucial saves for his club Aston Villa. Having kept numerous clean sheets in the Premier League, Emiliano Martinez has to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now and had earned all right to be in the 30-man list.
Club- Real Madrid
This talismanic midfielder has regularly stamped his authority in the midfield in La Liga, having played alongside Luka Modrid and Toni Kroos. He is capable of not only defending but also converting opposition offensive pressure into counter attacks. Something which he has done on a regular basis for Los Blancos throughout his stint in the La Liga.
Not only that, Casemiro also had his moments of heroics in the Copa America 2021, when he scored a last minute winner for Brazil in the group stage.
Club- Atletico Madrid
Considered to be one of the most key players to have led Atletico Madrid to the La Liga title in the 2020-21 season, Jan Oblak has also been snubbed in the 30-man-Ballon D’or list. While the headlines were snatched by Luis Suarez who was on a redemption mission after his exit from Barcelona, Oblak was the difference maker in Atletico rearguard.
When Atletico struggled in the second-half of the league, it was Jan Oblak who kept the attackers at bay. Not only did he keep clean sheets when required, but ensured that his leadership guided the defense through the rough patch.
- Federico Chiesa
Although Juventus lost their Serie A title to Inter Milan last season, Federico Chiesa redeemed himself with Italy in Euro 2021. Not only did he score key goals for Italy in the knockout stage, but was the sole attacker to dominate the opposition defense when the Italians were struggling. Not only that, he stands to be Juventus’ best player at the moment and has already led them past defending champions Chelsea in the Champions League group game.
The 23-years-old winger is full of pace and dribbling skills, causing serious problems in the box. In addition, Federico Chiesa also netted the decisive goal in Old Lady’s Coppa Italia final victory over Atalanta.
Club- Paris Saint Germain
The 22-year-old should be the most disappointed player to have missed out on the 30-man-Ballon D’or nominees list. Having won the Serie A with Inter in the 2020-21 season, Hakimi stands to be the brightest wing back amongst this generation of players.
The Morocco international player has been one of the key players to have featured for Inter Milan in majority of the games and he played remarkably well this season. Not only was he responsible for the success and goals of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, his pace ensured that no opposition attacker dribbled past him too often.