With so many of our most committed matched betting enthusiasts here at Profit Accumulator also being big football fans, we’re sure that there was no shortage of eyes among our members drawn to the news of the 2016 Ballon d’Or shortlist’s unveiling in late October.
Sure enough, some of world’s biggest football stars were on the list, ranging from the usual contenders Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar to those who would be relative ‘shock’ winners, such as Paul Pogba and Kevin de Bruyne.
However, not all of football’s best performers of the past year have made the 30-man list – just consider these three surprising omissions.
David de Gea
The Manchester United goalkeeper has continued to save his team from sticky situations throughout 2016, seeming to make at least one world-class save every match – and with the Red Devils again languishing in the league under new boss Jose Mourinho, they still greatly depend on him.
While de Gea’s Tottenham counterpart Hugo Lloris is certainly good value for his own place on the list, the Spaniard has probably been called into action more often, and has also recently overcome Iker Casillas for the position of his national team’s number one shot-stopper – quite the feat in itself.
It would have been a major injustice if none of the players who made Leicester City the most improbable champions of England in recent times had been picked for the Ballon d’Or shortlist, and sure enough, both Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez appear.
But what about the Foxes’ former powerhouse defensive midfielder, N’Golo Kante? His high number of tackles and interceptions did much to keep his team ticking throughout those narrow victories that netted the title. He has also become a fixture of the French national side and is continuing to impress for Chelsea after his move during the summer for a reported £30 million.
The German playmaker has been a consistent focus for criticism in certain sections of the British press since his arrival in England, but he racked up plenty of assists for Arsenal last season and is maintaining his rich vein of form this term.
His first professional hat-trick against Ludogorets at the Emirates Stadium, followed by his stunning late winner in the reverse fixture that sent his team into the Champions League knockout stages, will live long in the memory. His manager Arsene Wenger may have committed a gaffe in congratulating the former Real Madrid ace on his ‘nomination’, but the bald truth is that he isn’t on the list.
Of course, with such other players as Copa America winner Alexis Sanchez and Spurs’ Harry Kane – who notched 25 goals in the Premier League last term to claim the Golden Boot – having also been overlooked, it’s no disgrace for even the most celebrated players to fail to win a nomination.
Here at Profit Accumulator, we certainly can’t wait to see who triumphs. But if all of this talk of the best footballers over the past year has put you in the mood to make your coming 12 months as lucrative as possible, simply register with us now to start earning guaranteed cash through matched betting.