Jamie Vardy’s inspirational run of form for Leicester City has failed to lead to him being shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2016, with Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar having been picked ahead of the Sheffield-born player.
Vardy has proved to be a revelation for Leicester this season, with the striker having played a hugely significant role in their rise to the upper echelon of the Premier League, with them currently sitting in second place and sharing the same amount of points as leaders Manchester City. His astonishing run of form was exemplified by his breaking of Ruud van Nistelrooy’s previous record for goals scored in consecutive league games, with him having scored 11 goals in 11 games (and counting).
But this was not enough for him to receive a nod for the Ballon d’Or trophy, which is handed out to the best player of the year, with the Barcelona attacking duo and the Real Madrid star ranking ahead of him in the shortlist. While the Ballon d’Or continues to be dominated by La Liga players and therefore Vardy’s absence wasn’t exactly surprising, he has also been omitted from the FIFA FIFPro World Team of the year, which sees 10 Premier League players having ranked ahead of him.
The FIFPro World Team of the Year includes 50 footballers from around the world, and this year 10 have been selected from the English league. Despite Vardy having arguably been this season’s best player, though, the likes of established veterans Wayne Rooney and John Terry have ranked ahead of him. David de Gea, Branislav Ivanovic, Vincent Kompany, Eden Hazard, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez have also made the cut.
The Ballon d’Or is routinely little more than a celebration of Messi/Ronaldo’s talents with a third player thrown in for good measure, so Vardy’s chances of making the cut for FIFA were slim. However, his absence from the organisation’s World Team of the Year roster indicates how FIFA is reluctant to give the nod to an individual who doesn’t play for one of England’s top-flight clubs, and is indicative of their bias when it comes to the representation of smaller clubs. There is no way that Vardy’s record-breaking run of form shouldn’t have been acknowledged by FIFA, and the out-of-form Rooney appearing on the list in his place speaks volumes.