The Brazil international Nermay was the most high-profile absentee from a list of nominees
Ballon d’Or presenters France Football has released justification explaining why Neymar was left off the 30-man shortlist to win the prestigious award for the first time since 2010.
The Brazil international was the most high-profile absentee from a list of nominees that included Virgil van Dijk, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema were Real Madrid’s only representatives, while World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian defender Marquinhos made it for Paris St Germain.
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker, defenders Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and strikers Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all featured amongst the candidates when they were announced by France Football.
15 Premier League-based players were named alongside five-times winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Neymar to Barcelona ended with the Samba star staying in Paris.
Having been keen to leave PSG for his former club, Neymar didn’t get his wish and the Parisian fans have not forgotten.
That is a disgrace!” Neymar wrote on his Instagram Stories.
“And UEFA still pick four guys who know nothing about football to review the VAR decision in slow motion… that handball simply doesn’t exist!
“How do you handball behind your back? Ahh.. go f*ck yourselves.”
Neymar was banned by UEFA for three European matches for the rant, which was subsequently released to two games on appeal.
An ankle injury suffered in a warm-up match against Qatar ruled Neymar out of Brazil’s entire 2019 Copa America tournament.