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Ballon d’ Or: Three EPL Players Who Were Robbed Of Past Awards

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With nine days left to announce the winner for this year’s Ballon d’Or, DAILY POST highlights the three English Premier League, EPL, players who were robbed of the award in the past.

The winner for the Ballon d’Or 2021 will be announced on November 29.

DAILY POST reports that three EPL players deserved to win the Ballon d’Or in the past.

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The EPL has been host to a lot of world-class and talented players from across the world.

EPL top clubs, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, have had great players in the past and even currently.

READ ALSO: EPL: Wenger Reveals Two Players He Regrets Not Signing For Arsenal

Players such as Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero, Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard have all done great exploits in the Premier League in the past and won prizes in the English top-flight league.

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However, the most coveted individual award in football, the Ballon d’Or, has not found its way to England too often.

Since the English domestic league was rebranded and remodelled as the EPL in 1992, only two players from the English top-flight league have won the Ballon d’ Or – Liverpool’s Michael Owen (2001) and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo (2008).

DAILY POST highlights three EPL players who had incredible seasons for their clubs in the past but were overlooked for the Ballon d’Or award:

1. Thierry Henry – (Arsenal)

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In the 2002-2003 season, the world of football witnessed something bewildering when Juventus’s Pavel Nedved was awarded the Ballon d’Or award ahead of Henry.

Henry had put up mind-boggling numbers that season, scoring 32 goals and registering a stellar 28 assists for the Gunners.

The former France international also had 29 more goal contributions than his Czech counterpart, Nedved.

To say it was the biggest robbery in world football history would be an understatement.

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However, despite the snub, Henry continued his impressive display on the pitch for several years.

He finished a surprising third in the 2006 Ballon d’Or race, finishing behind defender Fabio Cannavaro and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

2. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

In the 2018-2019 season, Van Dijk played in all of Liverpool’s 38 Premier League games.

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The Dutch defender averaged 1.0 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 1.1 offsides and an amazing 5.2 clearances per game.

He was also instrumental in Liverpool’s sixth triumph in the Champions League.

His performances for Jurgen Klopp’s side earned him praise from across the world, with many naming him favourite to win the Ballon d’Or award that year.

READ ALSO: 2022 World Cup: FIFA Changes Rule For Two Play-off Games

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However, Van Dijk finished second in the final voting round, losing out on the award to former Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, by just seven votes.

3. Eric Cantona – (Manchester United)

Having finished in the third position in the Ballon d’Or rankings in the 1992-1993 season with Leeds, Cantona was expected to win the award with Manchester United.

The former France international scored 24 goals and registered 13 assists in 45 appearances across all competitions.

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However, the former forward did not even finish in the top three of the Ballon d’Or race as Barcelona’s Hristo Stoichkov won the award, with Juventus’s Roberto Baggio and AC Milan’s Paolo Maldini finishing second and third, respectively.

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Three Premier League Clubs Planning To Snap Up Aribo

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Premier League clubs, Crystal Palace, Watford and Brentford are reportedly preparing their bids for Super Eagles of Nigeria and Rangers midfielder, Joe Aribo.

Aribo, 25, was a key part of Steven Gerrad’s plan at Rangers that saw the club end a ten-year wait for a domestic league title.

Since joining from Charlton in 2019, he has scored 21 times and provided 16 assists in his 116 appearances. He also earned a call-up to the Super Eagles set-up.

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READ ALSO: BREAKING: Court Reverses Ex-Emir Sanusi’s Banishment From Kano

The Premier League clubs on the trail of Aribo already have a number of Super Eagles players and hopefuls and a switch will swell the total number of Nigerian players in English top-flight football.

Aribo’s deal with the The Teddy Bears ends in 2023.

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Ex-international Tackles FIFA For Staging Club World Cup During AFCON

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FIFA

Former Egypt international Ahmed Hossam Hussein Abdelhamid, publicly known as Mido, has tackled world governing body FIFA for staging the Club World Cup at the same time as the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

The 18th edition of the Club World Cup, which was earlier scheduled for December, will now be held from February 3 to 12, 2022, in the United Arab Emirates while the Afcon finals will take place from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.

Originally, an expanded Club World Cup in China was planned to be held in June and July 2021 but due to fixture congestion caused by the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics, and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on football, the Tokyo Olympics, Uefa European Championship and Copa America it was postponed from mid-2020 to mid-2021.

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As a result, FIFA announced in March 2020 they would postpone the expanded Club World Cup to later in 2021, 2022, or 2023.

On December 4, 2020, the Fifa Council announced the Club World Cup, using the previous format, would be held in late 2021 and hosted by Japan.

However, on September 8, 2021, the Japan Football Association dropped its commitment to host the tournament, owing to the possibility of restrictions on fan attendance due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Numerous countries expressed interest in hosting the tournament as bidding was reopened, including Brazil, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.

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On October 20, 2021, the Fifa Council announced the UAE as the host of the tournament and postponed the event from late 2021 to early 2022.

According to Mido, who played for several clubs in the Premier League, including Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, and West Ham United, the world body has disrespected Africans with the decision.

READ ALSO: FIFA Releases Shortlist For The Best Football Awards 2021

FIFA deciding to hold the Club World Cup while Afcon is going on is a sign of disrespect to African football,” former Ajax star tweeted in Ara

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“It wouldn’t have been the case with the Euros or Copa America.”

The draw for the competition was conducted on Monday with Chelsea set to face Auckland City, Al Jazira, or Al Hilal in the semi-finals.

Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal will face the winner between hosts Al Jazira and New Zealand side Auckland while Egyptian giants Al Ahly will take on Mexican side Monterrey and the winner will face Copa Libertadores winner Palmeiras in the semis.

Bayern Munich are the defending champions, but will not defend their title after being eliminated in the 2020-21 Uefa Champions League quarter-finals.

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African champions Al Ahly take part for a second successive time having finished third in the previous edition.

(PUNCH)

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FIFA Announces 11 Nominees For Puskás Award 2021 [Full List]

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FIFA on Monday announced 11 nominees for the Puskás Award 2021.

The winner will be selected by an international jury comprising a panel of FIFA Legends and registered fans from all over the world on FIFA.com.

Recall that FIFA had last Monday announced candidates for Men’s Best Coach, goalkeepers and among other awards.

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The 11 nominees shortlisted for the shortlist for the Puskás Award 2021 are.

1. Luis Díaz (COL): Brazil v. Colombia [CONMEBOL Copa América] (23 June 2021)

2. Gauthier Hein (FRA): Chamois Niortais FC v. AJ Auxerre [Ligue 2] (10 April 2021)

3. Érik Lamela (ARG): Arsenal FC v. Tottenham Hotspur FC [Premier League] (14 March 2021)

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4. Valentino Lazaro (AUT): Bayer 04 Leverkusen v. Borussia VfL 1900 Mönchengladbach [Bundesliga] (8 November 2020)

5. Riyad Mahrez (ALG): Zimbabwe v. Algeria [CAF Africa Cup of Nations qualifying] (16 November 2020)

6. Sandra Owusu-Ansah (GHA): Kumasi Sports Academy Ladies FC v. Supreme Ladies FC [Ghana Women’s Premier League] (8 May 2021).

READ ALSO:FIFA Releases Shortlist For The Best Football Awards 2021

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7. Vangelis Pavlidis (GRE): Willem II v. Fortuna Sittard [Eredivisie] (16 May 2021)

8. Daniela Sánchez (MEX): Querétaro FC v. Atlético de San Luis [Liga MX Femenil] (16 January 2021)

9. Patrik Schick (CZE): Czech Republic v. Scotland [UEFA EURO 2020] (14 June 2021)

10. Mehdi Taremi (IRN): Chelsea FC v. FC Porto [UEFA Champions League] (13 April 2021)

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11. Caroline Weir (SCO): Manchester City WFC v. Manchester United WFC [FA Women’s Super League] (12 February 2021).

(DAILY POST)

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