Almost after the conclusion of the World Cup, the final shortlist for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year was released.
Being a World Cup year, it was largely expected that the performances of players at the mundial will influence the selection of the finalists.
But surprisingly, no player from France’s World Cup winning squad made the shortlist. For the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, Luka Modric was the winner, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah.
Mohamed Salah, while he had a sterling run at club level, failed to replicate his top-notch performance at the World Cup – thanks in part to the injury he suffered during the Champions League final.
Yes, his was a season in which he broke Liverpool’s goal-scoring record. But was that enough for UEFA to select him ahead of other players, including Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann?
Reaching the UCL final is enough to make a case for the Egyptian. But his was also a season during which he did not win any trophy with Liverpool.
Goals are good. But trophies are better, right?
The trend continued when FIFA trimmed its FIFA The Best Award 10-man shortlist to the final three. Their final shortlist was identical to UEFA’s final shortlist. Again, Mohamed Salah made the cut but Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann were left out.
There must have been something Mohamed Salah did that the Argentine and the French World Cup winner did not do, right? But was Salah really better, on the overall, than Messi and Griezmann. Did he deserve to be nominated for both awards ahead of the other players in world football, most especially those two?
Luka Modric was awarded the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Cup. This was after he had won the Champions League trophy with Real Madrid. Portugal may not have gone far at the World Cup but CR7 scored a handful of goals and also won another UCL title for himself.
Can he do this in Juventus’ next game against Sassuolo?
Click here to predict and win.
But what did Salah win?
That’s just one of the many questions football fans around the world are asking. Both UEFA and FIFA overlooked other players who won at least one trophy, for the Egyptian.
Lionel Messi may not have won the Champions League. But he finished the season with the La Liga title and the Copa del Rey trophy. Antoine Griezmann’s 2017/2018 football season was one any other player will aspire to have.
After “conquering” the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, the Frenchman went all the way in Russia and conquered world football. How is it that he was overlooked? How is it that a player like Salah made it into the final list ahead of Griezmann?
What do you think? Did Salah do enough to make it into those two final shortlists? Do you think Antoine Griezmann or Lionel Messi should have been included in the list? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us your comments.