David de Gea has been left out of the annual Ballon d’Or shortlist ahead of the official ceremony.
The official ceremony will tale place on January 9th 2017, most likely in London, with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez once again competing for football’s most prestigious individual honour.
Manchester United fans were left aghast after discovering that De Gea, despite having an excellent year between the sticks at Old Trafford, was not included in the shortlist.
HOW IS DAVID DE GEA NOT ON THE BALLON D'Or SHORTLIST?🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔
— Senzo Sithebe (@SkinnySenz_77) October 24, 2016
De Gea apparently isn't on the Ballon D'or shortlist…. is this some kind of joke
— Dylan (@dylannMUFC) October 24, 2016
From a purely objective, statistical point of view, Buffon’s selection over De Gea makes sense. The Italian has, after all, conceded less goals and produced more clean sheets.
And yet, when it comes down to crucial, match-deciding moments, De Gea can feel bitterly hard done by. Buffon, whilst undoubtedly talented, has spent most of 2016 watching Juventus tear weaker Italian sides apart at the other end of the pitch. De Gea, on the other hand, has produced a number of match-saving performances. His stunning save from Romelu Lukaku’s penalty in the FA Cup semi final – which changed the entire complexion of the game, effectively giving Louis van Gaal‘s side the momentum they needed to make the final – springs to mind, not to mention his stunning display at Anfield last week.
Either way, the fact that United fans are so manifestly frustrated with his exclusion speaks volumes about the excellent year he has had in a red shirt.