France Football has released a 30 man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon d'Or Award and with it has come many speculations and criticisms. The award has gathered such reputation as the calibre of players who have won it in the past make it one of the most coveted awards in world football.
This year's nominee list is not short of big names as players from the range of the clinical striker Robert Lewandowski to the elusive dribbler Neymar Jr made the list. Among these players are Bruno Fernandes and Chelsea star Mason Mount.
Contrary to popular opinions that the duo do not deserve to be on this nomination list, below are reasons and explanations detailing why they deserve to be on this list.
The Portuguese maestro has been very integral to Manchester United's success of recent. The midfielder has not only been the top scorer in the team since his arrival he has also created the most chances and gathered the most assists.
These numbers have not gone unnoticed as the France Football Association in charge of the Ballon d'Or has put this into consideration in placing him among the 30 man nominee list. The "Portuguese Magnifico" as he is referred to by his fans scored 18 goals and chipped in 12 assists while creating 20 big chances for his teammates in the 2020/21 season.
He was also the pioneer of most of their attacks as his 20 through balls were the highest for any Manchester player. This figure is matched by very few playmakers in the league. All this was done while bossing the Europa League also as his early exit from the UCL did not dim his light. This amount of quality could not go unnoticed as it has paid off in his Ballon d'Or nomination.
Mason Mount who was popularly referred to as "Lampard's son" has finally gotten results for his intense work rate as he has been placed on the 30 men shortlist for the Ballon d'Or award. Most football fans have found this decision surprising as they do not consider the Englishman the calibre of player to win such an award.
If we take a closer look at his impact in Chelsea we will realise a lot of things that are not so obvious at first sight. To start let's consider his passing accuracy in the league last season. Mount finished with an 86.5% accuracy on his passes, putting this into context it is a league where Bruno Fernandes could only complete 78.3% and Kevin De Bruyne finished with 81.7%. If these numbers don't impress you I wonder what will because these three players play the same position as attacking midfielders.
As earlier stated Mason Mount's work rate is off the charts as his defensive work has made that obvious. He finished last season with a total of 2 blocks, 31 interceptions and 75 tackles which were absurd numbers for any attacking midfielder in the league last season. To put this into context we can consider Paul Pogba a player who is supposed to be a defensive midfielder on many occasions finished with 2 blocks 26 interceptions and 36 tackles.
These numbers have not gone unnoticed as they have been put into consideration along with his exceptional UCL performances in making him a Ballon d'Or nominee. Mount provided the assist for the Champions League winning goal by Havertz and it was only right as it was a reward for most of his work that gets swept under the carpet.
Next time you're in doubt as to why France Football will consider nominating this player who many feel doesn't do enough remember these stats and know that he is getting rewarded for his efforts.
Do you think these two players were rightfully nominated? Make your opinions known in the comments section.
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