1. Asamoah Gyan
Yes, he had a good World Cup and yes, we reckon he will come good at Sunderland. But is he World Player of the Year? Not a chance and he certainly doesn’t merit a spot in the 23-man shortlist. This smacks of tokenism from FIFA as they aim to spread the African nominations beyond Eto’o and Drogba.
2. Iker Casillas
If I were Casillas, I would be pretty insulted to be on the shortlist. He is still among the best and most consistent keepers in the world, but his dip in form over the last year has been the worst of his career. It seems like totally the wrong time to be honouring someone who, ironically, has been one of the best players in the world for the last decade.
3. Cesc Fabregas
While a decent World Cup appears to be the reason for several nominations, Fabregas’ contribution to Spain’s victory was bit-part at best. He didn’t start a single game. So that would lead you to his Arsenal form. Bear with me, angry Gooners! While his season was outstanding up to the point of his injury against Barcelona, there are several other Premier League players who played just as well in the second half of last season and have been overlooked (not least Wayne Rooney).
The full list of nominations is:
Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Julio Cesar (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Muller (Germany), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Holland), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Holland), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).
Any candidates who you think are a bit dubious? Anybody you think deserves to be in there and has been overlooked?