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2014 Ballon d'Or: Gyan deserved a nomination

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 Source: goal.com

Goal criticises Fifa’s decision to ignore arguably Asia's current best footballer
Many are the players justified in moaning over their ommission of their names from the freshly released 2014 Ballon d'Or 23-man shortlist: the likes of Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Xabi Alonso et al readily spring to mind.
There is, however, another - of much lower profile, but with no less reason to feel hard done by over his exclusion: Ghana's Asamoah Gyan.
2013/14, whichever way you look at it, was a spectacular season for the Ghanaian; perhaps his best yet as a professional footballer. For a third season running - and with 29 league goals (just two short of his all-time personal best) - Gyan sealed the Golden Boot for topscoring in the Arabian Gulf League with Al Ain. Those goals took his tally since joining the 2003 Asian champions into triple figures, helping him soar right up the club's overall goalscoring tables to second place where he currently perches in glory.
It wasn't just at home that Gyan outscored and outshone. In the AFC Champions League - the Asian equivalent of the Uefa Champions League - he found incredibly good fortune in a competition he hadn't exactly flourished in since transferring to the region. En route to Al Ain reaching the semi-finals (for the first time since 2005), Gyan scored nearly half of the club's goals; a round dozen in all, just a strike below the highest tally ever managed by any player in a single edition of the competition. On the basis of such remarkable numbers alone, the 'Baby Jet' might as well be the finest footballer in Asia at present.
There was even more Fifa overlooked, though.
Over the last 12 months, Gyan has been in exceptional form for his nation. In that period, he became Ghana's all-time unrivalled goalscorer, topped - alongside the Egyptian duo of Mohamed Abotrika and Mohamed Salah - the scoring charts in the African qualifying series for Brazil 2014, netted twice at the Mundial itself (only six other Africans could match him in that regard) to surpass Cameroun legend Roger Milla as the continent's record scorer in World Cup history.
In sum, Gyan - for both club and country - contributed as much as any other footballer on the planet did in the year under review. For him not to be included, then, is quite scandalous; an indictment on the Ballon d'Or's credibility and, by extension, on the worth of African footballers, with only Ivorian and Manchester City talisman Yaya Touré making the list this time.
Indeed, it makes little sense that Gyan misses out this time, given that he was recognized in 2010 (placing 18th) on less weighty evidence.
Or could it be because he now plays club football in 'unglamorous' Asia?
Well, while that would be some sad reasoning, it seems the only plausible explanation.
If Fifa - quite true to form - hadn't failed to cast its net wide enough in capturing contenders for the latest Ballon d'Or prize, Gyan could have easily notched a nomination for himself.
Alas, consideration for the award has, quite inexplicably, been rendered wholly Eurocentric. No one who plays elsewhere matters, and Gyan is only the latest, biggest victim of such bias.
Come again, Fifa.

Goal criticises Fifa’s decision to ignore arguably Asia's current best footballer
Many are the players justified in moaning over their ommission of their names from the freshly released 2014 Ballon d'Or 23-man shortlist: the likes of Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Xabi Alonso et al readily spring to mind.
There is, however, another - of much lower profile, but with no less reason to feel hard done by over his exclusion: Ghana's Asamoah Gyan.
2013/14, whichever way you look at it, was a spectacular season for the Ghanaian; perhaps his best yet as a professional footballer. For a third season running - and with 29 league goals (just two short of his all-time personal best) - Gyan sealed the Golden Boot for topscoring in the Arabian Gulf League with Al Ain. Those goals took his tally since joining the 2003 Asian champions into triple figures, helping him soar right up the club's overall goalscoring tables to second place where he currently perches in glory.
It wasn't just at home that Gyan outscored and outshone. In the AFC Champions League - the Asian equivalent of the Uefa Champions League - he found incredibly good fortune in a competition he hadn't exactly flourished in since transferring to the region. En route to Al Ain reaching the semi-finals (for the first time since 2005), Gyan scored nearly half of the club's goals; a round dozen in all, just a strike below the highest tally ever managed by any player in a single edition of the competition. On the basis of such remarkable numbers alone, the 'Baby Jet' might as well be the finest footballer in Asia at present.
There was even more Fifa overlooked, though.
Over the last 12 months, Gyan has been in exceptional form for his nation. In that period, he became Ghana's all-time unrivalled goalscorer, topped - alongside the Egyptian duo of Mohamed Abotrika and Mohamed Salah - the scoring charts in the African qualifying series for Brazil 2014, netted twice at the Mundial itself (only six other Africans could match him in that regard) to surpass Cameroun legend Roger Milla as the continent's record scorer in World Cup history.
In sum, Gyan - for both club and country - contributed as much as any other footballer on the planet did in the year under review. For him not to be included, then, is quite scandalous; an indictment on the Ballon d'Or's credibility and, by extension, on the worth of African footballers, with only Ivorian and Manchester City talisman Yaya Touré making the list this time.
Indeed, it makes little sense that Gyan misses out this time, given that he was recognized in 2010 (placing 18th) on less weighty evidence.
Or could it be because he now plays club football in 'unglamorous' Asia?
Well, while that would be some sad reasoning, it seems the only plausible explanation.
If Fifa - quite true to form - hadn't failed to cast its net wide enough in capturing contenders for the latest Ballon d'Or prize, Gyan could have easily notched a nomination for himself.
Alas, consideration for the award has, quite inexplicably, been rendered wholly Eurocentric. No one who plays elsewhere matters, and Gyan is only the latest, biggest victim of such bias.
Come again, Fifa.

Source: goal.com