Shafted stars: 5 players who deserved Ballon d’Or recognition

The 30 nominees for the 2017 Ballon d’Or were revealed Monday, and naturally, it prompted as much discussion about those included as it did for a handful of players left off the list.

Related: Messi, Neymar, Griezmann among nominees on Ballon d’Or shortlist

Usual suspects Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar were all suggested for the annual award voted upon by football journalists, and alongside the star-studded trio is a host of names the likes of Sadio Mane, Karim Benzema, and Mats Hummels who are sure to raise a few eyebrows.

With the focus on players not nominated who deserve the nod for stellar 2016-17 campaigns, here’s a look at five footballers shafted by Monday’s selection:

Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

For the sake of comparison, let’s contrast Premier League wingers Sadio Mane and Alexis Sanchez. Last season with Liverpool, Ballon d’Or nominee Mane scored 13 league goals paired with five assists.

Sanchez, who was curiously not named, tallied 24 times to go with 10 helpers, and was the driving force behind a third FA Cup crown in four years. He also had three and three in the Champions …read more