Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets, alongside 21 former FC Barcelona players, have been nominated for the Ballon d’Or Dream Team, which celebrates the best player in each position in history.
France Football magazine has chosen not to award the Ballon d’Or this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, they are honoring the all-time greats, using the same voting process used to reward the best player each year.
The magazine has finished publishing the list of nominees for each position by releasing the names of the forwards that will be considered.
For the right wing position, former Barcelona players Luis Figo and Samuel Eto’o will be considered alongside Messi.
Thierry Henry, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Hristo Stoichkov have been nominated for the left winger position. And Johan Cruyff, Sándor Kocsis, Romario, and Ronaldo Nazario are amongst the centerforward nominees. Some felt that Luis Suárez (the Uruguayan player still active) was snubbed, although his namesake Luis Suárez Miramontes (Spanish player active in the 50s, 60s, and 70s) was nominated as a midfielder.
Previously, current manager and former Barcelona player Ronald Koeman had been nominated as a centerback, as was former Barcelona fullback Lilian Thuram. However, some felt it was a snub not to include any of Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, or Dani Alves in the lists of centerbacks and fullbacks.
Barcelona was better represented when it came to midfielders: Johan Neeskens, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suárez Miramontes, Pep Guardiola, and Bernd Schuster were chosen to be central midfield nominees.
Gica Hagi, Andrés Iniesta, Ladislao Kubala, and Diego Maradona were all nominated as attacking midfielders.
Former manager Frank Rijkaard was also nominated as a midfielder, though he never starred for Barcelona in his playing days.
Fans will surely discuss not only the choices and the snubs, but also whether certain players were placed in their proper positions. This will all lead into even further discussion when the Dream XI is finally revealed.