Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Where's David De Gea? Man United No. 1 not on list of FIFA's Best goalkeepers


Where is David De Gea? It's not a question often asked when shots are flying towards Manchester United's goal. But when FIFA released its voting sheets for its Best Goalkeeper of 2017 award, it was particularly relevant.
Not because De Gea didn't win the trophy handed out as part of FIFA's The Best awards in London on Monday night, although you could argue he should have.
It went to Gianluigi Buffon who, at the age of 39, led Juventus to the Champions League final. Fair enough.
It was because De Gea did not appear on the list at all. Not one nomination. Not one vote.
According to FIFA, the award "rewards the best goalkeeper, regardless of championship or nationality, for his achievements during the period from Nov. 20 2016 to July 2 2017 inclusive" and the "winner of the award will be selected by a panel of experts including former goalkeepers and strikers."
In response to an ESPN FC request for comment, a FIFA spokesman reiterated the rules, adding that the organisation is "not involved in the final selection of nominees."
Buffon got more than 40 percent of the vote. Manuel Neuer more than 30 percent. Keylor Navas and Thibaut Courtois got about 10 percent each.
Hugo Lloris, Jan Oblak, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Alisson picked up votes.
Claudio Bravo, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Ederson and Iran's Alireza Beiranvand were all among the nominees. But not De Gea.

The Spain international does not do many interviews, but put up for a news conference by United before the Champions League clash with Basel last month, the first two questions were telling.
Firstly, was an incredible save from Jese against Stoke two days earlier his best ever? And secondly, does he think he is the best goalkeeper in the world? De Gea answered both with more modesty than was needed.
"Best in the world" is a phrase thrown around a lot in football circles, often prematurely.
But on a night that honoured the world's best players, De Gea's omission was unbelievable. Just like some of his saves.

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