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Van Persie: In the Ballon d'Or running just to make up the numbers

Manchester United's Robin van Persie has made the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, but was his nomination deserving?

Last year arguments were being put forward as to why Robin van Persie should be a contender for the Ballon d'Or.

His calendar year form at the end of 2011/12 for Arsenal was sensational, as was his start for Manchester United.

There was little expectation he would usurp Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the standings, but there was a general feeling that he was deserving of more recognition on a global stage than he was getting.

A year on he is nominated again, but this time the Manchester United man is there to make up the numbers, undeserving of such plaudits.

The Dutchman has not been terrible, but his form has not either been worthy of comparison to the sensational football served up by the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

In the calendar year of 2012 he scored 27 Premier League goals for Arsenal and Manchester United. So far in 2013 he has 15 with two months to go.

It is not inconceivable he could yet top the figure, but also missing is his impact in the big games this season. His last goal against a 'top' team came back in April from the penalty spot against former club Arsenal.

A year ago the Dutchman was netting winners in away games against Manchester City and Liverpool, in the reverse fixtures this time around he never looked like scoring.

The biggest disappointment of Van Persie's 2013, apart from Sir Alex Ferguson leaving, were his displays in the Champions League against Real Madrid.

If ever an opportunity existed for him to raise his profile on the world stage and show why he should be worthy of vying for honours with Europe's best, that was it, but despite numerous opportunities he was unusually wasteful and failed to score in both legs.

Van Persie remains a very lethal striker, his five goals in eight Premier League games confirm that, and he has also been struggling with niggling injuries this season.

There have been moments of magic this year, namely his incredible volley in the title clinching home game against Aston Villa.

But that does not mean to say the Dutchman has done enough to deserve to make the Ballon d'Or shortlist this year, because frankly, he hasn't.

Do you agree? Were you surprised by Van Persie's inclusion? How can he get his spark back?

image: © Doha Stadium Plus

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