Five Premier League players unlucky not to be on Ballon d'Or shortlist

Paulinho

Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur players all feature.

FIFA have announced the shortlist for this year’s Ballon D’Or with plenty of Premier League interest in the award.

But the list once again looks more like a popularity contest.

The likes of Robin van Persie, Eden Hazard, Xavi and Neymar have had their place among the top 23 players in the world questioned by some already.

So could five Premier League players you might not expect have a case for inclusion?

Some are definitely clutches, but one or two might get you thinking …

Daniel Sturridge

His perhaps more illustrious strike partner may be on the shortlist, but there is little doubt that based on pre brass-tax facts and figures - Sturridge has been overlooked.

Since the England striker made the move to Liverpool from Chelsea at the start of January he has been phenomenal - and it is only when you sit down and look at his 2013 record you realise just how unfair his omission is.

Sturridge has bagged a grand total of 23 goals in his 31 games for club and country so far this calendar year - a record only just behind that of Edinson Cavani who has scored 25 and more than Neymar of Barcelona.

His form for England perhaps lets him down.

Paulinho

Now the FIFA recognised trophy often does become heavily weighted on performances in FIFA competitions such as the World Cup - but if that is the case then where is Paulinho on the list?

He was a major part of the Corinthians side that won the FIFA Club World Cup at the start of the year - and has since gone on to, arguably, be the star player for Brazil in a Confederations Cup triumph.

All that has earned him a big money move to Tottenham, but not Ballon D’Or recognition.

Perhaps the box-to-box midfielder is just not a sexy enough position for inclusion.

Edin Dzeko

Have you gone mad?

I can already hear you shouting at me through your screens but hear me out.

Ok, the Manchester City form has not been great - largely because he has not been given anything remotely looking like a chance for the club.

But his achievements with Bosnia-Herzegovina deserve appreciation.

He has lead the nation to their first ever World Cup finals, and his two goals against Greece in March were vital in getting them there.

There is no doubt that on the international stage, he has been one of the most influential players in 2013.

Laurent Koscielny/Per Mertesacker

Even I have to admit that there was a small flinch on my part when I started writing the name L-a-u-r-e …. on to the screen - but seriously, why not.

Central defenders, as usual have been overlooked in this year’s shortlist with just Thiago Silva doing it for the boys.

But ever since that red-card against Manchester City at the start of the year the Frenchman has come in and been superb for an Arsenal team, who are the best Premier League team since New Year’s Day.

Even Per Mertesacker deserves a mention. He may not be the fastest, classiest or most fashionable centre back around - but he could argue to be the most intelligent, that is for sure.

And with both regulars for France and Germany respectively - they have a case.

Could any other Premier League players have a case for inclusion?

image: © visualkreator

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