Before Fifa’s official announcement of the Ballon d’Or long list of nominations, it has been allegedly leaked by Mundo Deportivo for the 2016 edition.
The inclusion of Andre Ayew and Christian Atsu were amongst the biggest surprises in the 59 player list.
Atsu’s name is a controversial one because after two months he hasn’t played for on-loan club Bournemouth in the Premier League yet. His only game time was in the League Cup, when team’s usually place some experimental choices or to blood youngsters.
Last season he was on loan with Everton and participated in just five times. Even though many might feel Fifa’s nomination was unjust, it does make relative sense when you consider that they’re counting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Atsu was named the Player of the Tournament and scored arguably the goal of the competition as Ghana finished runners up to Ivory Coast.
There’s not much controversy with Andre Ayew’s inclusion since he’s started brightly for new club Swansea this season. He produced an assist, plus three goals in his first four matches, leading to become the August player of the month in the Premier League.
He was also nominated for awards in September. That’s a great achievement for a player from Ghana, but one will have to wait and see how consistent he is for the following months.
His nomination in the 59 does have merit, because he won the Best African player award in Ligue 1 in France last season, and also impressed for Ghana in the Afcon.