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Is Andres Iniesta the best player never to have won the Ballon d’Or?

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Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

In case you hadn’t heard Andres Iniesta received an apology from France Football on Tuesday.

Editor Pascal Ferre wrote a column entitled “Perdon Andres” (Forive us Andres) praising the midfielder and trying to explain why he’d never been awarded the Ballon d’Or.

“For us, [Iniesta] wasn’t just a player, he was the player.

“His generosity, team play and altruism has certainly deprived him of an even more majestic recognition [the Ballon d’Or].

“He has proven that the brain is definitely the most important thing when it comes to being a champion.

“Iniesta is one of the great absences when it comes to Ballon D’or winners. This is painful to us.

”We can only hope that a divine performance at the World Cup helps us to repair this democratic anomaly.”

Source | France Football

The closest Iniesta came to the prize was in 2010 when even scoring the winner in the World Cup final was not enough as he finished second behind Lionel Messi.

He’s not alone though, there are plenty of legends who have never scooped the prestigious award, not least former team-mate Xavi, then there’s Thierry Henry, Paolo Maldini, Frank Rijkaard, Gianluigi Buffon and Diego Maradona too.

Individual awards in a team sport are always pretty contentious things which generate plenty of debate and being the kind of person he is Iniesta probably won’t care. He’s won everything there is to win in a glittering career, but it’s difficult to think of anyone who deserved it more.