5 Players who should have made the Ballon d’or shortlist

The shortlist for the Ballon d’or was revealed on Tuesday, and it contained all of the obvious names, such as four-time winner Lionel Messi, perennial runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo, and the World’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale. But here are 5 players that perhaps should have been among the 23 names that were nominated:

Diego Costa

The 25-year-old has had probably the best year of his career for Atletico Madrid. Instrumental to his side’s Copa Del Rey triumph in May, he has improved even further at the beginning of this season, scoring 13 goals in as many games to help Atletico to an excellent start to the new La Liga season.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The attacking midfielder’s form for Shakhtar Donetsk and Armenia last season led to him being one of Europe’s most highly sought after stars in the summer. He eventually joined Borussia Dortmund, for whom he already has five goals and three assists, adding to the 11 he scored and six he assisted prior to his move to the Champions League runners-up. Indeed, his non-inclusion is especially harsh.

Juan Mata

Juan Mata

With Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard on the shortlist, it seems somewhat unfair that Mata has been overlooked, due to his consistently superb performances which earned him a Europa League winners’ medal as well as the club’s Player of the Year award, with many viewing the Spaniard as Chelsea’s standout player throughout 2013.

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba

Since arriving at Juventus from Manchester United in 2012, Pogba has become one of the Turin side’s most important players over the past year, and his excellent displays have caught the eye. So far in 2013, he has scored 10 goals, while gaining recognition as one of the most promising players in Serie A.

Marco Reus

Marco Reus

Reus has been excellent for Borussia Dortmund in 2013, helping them to the Champions League final in May. The eight goals that the Germany international has scored already this season have taken his tally to 21 for this calendar year, with the 24-year-old establishing himself as a regular goalscorer from midfield.

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