In the words of Victor Meldrew, I don’t believe it. The list of nominees for the Ballon d’Or was released yesterday and for some strange, obscure and unknown reason, Robin Van Persie’s name was not among the world’s footballing stars being considered for the prestigious Fifa award. Those responsible for compiling this list are clearly doing it wrong. Van Persie is simply a staggering omission given his performance during 2011.
The word prolific doesn’t do his form justice, with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo the only player in Europe with a better goals-to-games ratio for this calendar year. RVP has netted 28 times in 27 games for Arsenal this year, and while it doesn’t always have to be all about goals for the winners of the Ballon d’Or, that kind of record can’t do you any harm, surely? Incidentally, that’s a more lethal finishing account than Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi, who all appear on the 23-man shortlist.
The Dutch striker has certainly gone above and beyond for the Gunners this year and it’s a wonder he’s not suffered more back injuries from carrying his team mates on so many occasions. While Van Persie has not won the trophies his efforts probably deserve, surely a strike rate of 1.04 goals a game should earn you a nomination for Player of the Year? Sometimes you have to wonder if the “experts” from the Fifa commission actually get around to watching any football in between meetings on banning snoods or how to avoid discussing goal line technology.
All this said mind, it actually doesn’t matter. Unfortunately for 22 players on the shortlist, they are not Lionel Messi, and therefore do not stand a chance. Messi ought to take the award easier than you could round Petr Cech and slot the ball into an empty net. But still, Wayne Rooney nominated? What next, Pardew for England?