Barcelona striker Luis Suarez can find his teammates up and down the shortlist of nominees for FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award, given to the player voted to have performed the best in the world over the past year.
With coaches, players and journalists voting, there are plenty of voices in the mix that have chosen not to state a belief in Suarez, who undoubtedly was one of the world’s best on-field players this season but had a little bit of a disciplinary problem at the World Cup.
Suarez knows he performed well enough to make the list, aside from the biting of Giorgio Chiellini. Should that incident be enough to keep him off the list? Is the fact that he missed months with a suspension while the others played on enough to disqualify him? After all, some of his fellow nominees have had their own issues: Lionel Messi is dealing with tax evasion charges and, though not a biter, Sergio Ramos has collected more red cards than any Real Madrid player.
Suárez was questioned about the snub for the first time in a interview with the Spanish radio station RAC1 on Monday night and hinted at his frustration but stopped short of criticising the governing body.
“Everyone brings it to attention, as Gerard Piqué said, and what he told me is that they voted me as the best player in the most difficult league in the world, or one of the most difficult,” he said.
“I was also the highest goalscorer of all of the European leagues. But I prefer to keep quiet before saying things because every time that I speak there could be a problem.”
Way to mention it without mentioning it, Luis.
Really, though, does he have a point? Close to a goal-per-game for club and country isn’t a feat commonly-achieved in the Premier League, or in many top flights across Europe. Should his most-recent moment of mania cost him a spot on the shortlist to Paul Pogba, or Ramos? I tend to think so, but stand ready to be convinced otherwise.