Each year French publication France Football holds the Ballon d’Or award, widely regarded as the industry standard for the best player in world football.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award since 2008.
But there are plenty of top stars who regularly make the list of the top 30 players in the world.
Yet neither Sergio Aguero nor Romelu Lukaku have secured their place on the prestigious list this year.
Both strikers have been in excellent form for their clubs this season – and in Aguero’s case he’s had a stellar 2017.
So why were they not in the top 30? Here’s the case for both players and why France Football got it wrong…
Aguero scored 33 goals for Manchester City last season – 15 of which came in 2017.
This term he has continued that record with an impressive seven goals in eight outings.
He has not gone more than two Manchester City game without scoring since February.
Yet what is most impressive about Aguero is that he’s managed to maintain this record despite the arrival of Gabriel Jesus at City.
Jesus’ signing in January sparked fears Aguero would quit City in the summer but the Argentine has got down to the hard work and kept his status as pep Guardiola’s No 1 striker.
Sergio Aguero was nominated in the top 30 list for the Ballon d’Or in 2016 even though he scored only six more goals than his current City tally for 2017 – and we’re only in October!.
The 29-year-old did endure a miserable World Cup qualifying campaign with Argentina during which he failed to score in five outings… but surely that’s not enough to keep him off the list.
Lukaku has certainly written the headlines this season with his emphatic goals tally for Manchester United.
Eleven goals in 10 games is title-winning form and for £75million Manchester United’s summer signing already looks a bargain buy.
One would think the only justification for his non-inclusion in the Ballon d’Or list must be his dip in form towards the end of his Everton career.
Indeed, Lukaku scored just once in his last six Toffees appearances. But his 2017 tally still reads 28 goals from 32 games.
Lukaku has plenty of responsibility on his shoulders and in a recent CIES Observatory study it was found that his transfer value has increased more than any other player on the planet since the summer.
He will remain United’s first-choice centre-forward for the foreseeable future and it’s hard to see how he didn’t make the list.
Ballon d’Or list of forwards
The forwards who got in ahead of Aguero and Lukaku on the Ballon d’Or list are as follows…
Neymar (PSG), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Edin Dzeko (Roma), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund), Edinson Cavani (PSG), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (PSG).