Suarez is the biggest Ballon d'Or injustice, say Goal readers

More than half the voters believe the former Liverpool ace should have been named on the 23-man initial shortlist for the award, with Luka Modric coming second


Luis Suarez is the most glaring omission from the 23-man initial shortlist to win the Fifa Ballon d’Or, according to Goal readers.

Eyebrows were raised on Tuesday when the list of nominees for the game’s greatest individual prize were announced as Suarez – who won the PFA Player of the Year award as he inspired Liverpool to a second-placed finish – was left out.

Goal readers were similarly aghast at the decision not to include the Barcelona striker, with 53.9 per cent believing that the Uruguayan’s omission was the biggest injustice – over half of the overall vote.

Luka Modric came second in our poll, with 19.3% of readers saying the Real Madrid midfielder can count himself most unlucky to have missed out on a place after helping his side to Copa del Rey and Champions League glory.

Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus appears in third with 7.3% of the votes, just ahead of Juventus and Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal, who earned 5.2%.

Robert Lewandowski finished fifth in our poll, just a fraction ahead of Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey, who seemed destined to earn the chance to battle for the game’s top individual honour until injury curtailed his year.

Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin earned just 2.5% of the votes, ahead of Roma star Miralem Pjanic (1.1%) and Ivan Rakitic (0.9%). Finally, 1.7% of readers believe another name in world football deserved a place in the 23.

Take a look at the shortlist for the 2014 Fifa Ballon d’Or in full here.

Suarez misses out on Fifa Ballon d'Or nomination

The Uruguay international guided Liverpool to the Champions League last term with his goals, but it was not enough to make the 23-man shortlist

Barcelona star Luis Suarez has missed out on a nomination for the 2014 Fifa Ballon d’Or despite his incredible season for Liverpool last term.

The Uruguay international fired the Anfield side to third place in the Premier League with 31 goals in 2013/14 – thus securing Champions League football – while winning the European Golden Shoe and Premier League top scorer awards in the process.

However, Fifa has opted to leave Suarez off their 23-man shortlist after he missed four months of action due to suspension for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil.

Other notable absentees include Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery, who came in third in last year’s vote, his team-mate Robert Lewandowski, Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal and fellow Serie A star Miralem Pjanic, as well as Real Madrid’s Luka Modric.

Barcelona’s lack of silverware this year means regulars such as Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Xavi have not made the list either.

Furthermore, several accomplished Premier League players have been overlooked, with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Sergio Aguero, Aaron Ramsey and Nemanja Matic all missing out.

'Roma couldn't string three passes together' – Pjanic embarrassed by Bayern beating

The Bosnian was stunned that the Bavarians so easily swept aside last season’s Scudetto runners-up and blamed conceding in the opening 10 minutes on his side’s capitulation

Miralem Pjanic expressed his embarrassment that Roma “couldn’t string three or four passes together” as they were thrashed by Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Arjen Robben (two), Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery and Xherdan Shaqiri all got on the scoresheet as Pep Guardiola’s men easily dispatched the Giallorossi at the Stadio Olimpico, with only a Gervinho consolation goal to take from the 7-1 hammering.

Pjanic was shocked at how he and his Roma team-mates were humiliated in the Champions League group stage game, but believes it all could have gone so differently had they not let Bayern take the lead in the opening 10 minutes.

“If we hadn’t conceded the goal so early, it would’ve been a different game,” the midfielder, 24, told Sky Sport.

“Bayern pressed for 90 minutes, never allowing us space, as every time we had the ball in midfield there was someone on us.

“We couldn’t string three or four passes together or play our usual football. It’s a crying shame, we faced a very strong side, but we are still second in the group and have to avoid anything like this happening again.

“We expected a very different night. It is difficult to accept it or to say anything intelligent or constructive. This is not the real Roma and I can’t explain what happened.

“No one expected this, now we have to put it behind us and from Saturday start winning again.”

Roma have Serie A games against Sampdoria, Cesena and Napoli to regain some confidence before they travel to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern again on Wednesday November 5.

Last season’s Scudetto runners-up remain second in Group E due to Manchester City and CSKA Moscow’s draw prior to Roma’s heavy defeat on Tuesday.

Tommasi: Pjanic can become Roma's Andrea Pirlo

EXCLUSIVE: The ex-Giallorossi ace feels the Bosnian has a crucial role to play in Sunday’s Serie A game in Turin, though he also warned his old club that Carlos Tevez is “on fire”


By Marco Terrenato

Miralem Pjanic has the potential to become Roma’s version of Andrea Pirlo, according to Italian Players Union (AIC) president Damiano Tommasi.

The Giallorossi travel to Turin on Sunday for a mouth-watering Serie A showdown with the Bianconeri, with both sides boasting 100 per cent records after the first five rounds of the season and locked together at the top of the table.

While Pirlo’s participation remains in doubt, given he has only just recovered from a hip problem, Pjanic is a certain starter for Roma, something that Tommasi feels is crucial to the capital club’s hopes of victory.

“I believe that the most decisive player for Roma could be Pjanic,” the former Italy international told Goal. “In my opinion, the Bosnian can become the Pirlo of Roma.

“For example, against Parma last month, Pjanic decided the game with a free-kick, just as Pirlo has so often done for the Bianconeri in recent years.

“Against Verona last Sunday, Pjanic didn’t have the opportunity to unblock the game but maybe he will have to do it on Sunday against Juventus, especially if it’s a finely-balanced game.”

Juventus, of course, have a number of potential winners themselves, with the likes of Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata all set to feature, Tommasi is in no doubt about which Bianconeri player Roma will have to worry about most.

“Here, there’s no debate,” the former Giallorossi midfielder stated. “In this moment, Tevez is the driving force behind the Bianconeri.

“He has been the man on fire in the Juventus attack in their perfect championship up until now.”

Juve beat Roma home and away on their way to winning the Scudetto last season, ultimately finishing 17 points clear of the Stadio Olimpico side with a record haul of 102.

However, Tommasi does not believe that the 2013-14 campaign will have any bearing on Sunday’s crunch clash in the capital.

“This Roma don’t seem to me to be a team that think about games gone by,” he argued.

“Garcia and his players live only at the present and they already know that they are capable of playing for the Scudetto right until the end of the season, regardless of the result of the game at Juventus Stadium.

“Therefore, I don’t consider this game a true examination, but we can say that for the Giallorossi it will be a little test to see if the difference between the two sides from last season has already been made up.

“My feeling is that it has, but we will have a better idea after Sunday.

“Regardless, I believe that we will see a really good game. Especially if the two teams manage to play their usual games, without too much pressure.

“We are just at the sixth matchday and the two teams have won every game until now, so they can gamble freely.”

Pjanic fires warning to Bayern and Man City

The midfield ace is convinced that Rudi Garcia’s men can reach the last 16 after their fine showing in the 1-1 draw at the Etihad on Tuesday night

Miralem Pjanic has warned Champions League Group E rivals Manchester City and Bayern Munich that Tuesday 1-1 draw at the Etihad has only reinforced Roma’s belief they can progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

After opening with an impressive 5-1 demolition of CSKA Moscow, the Giallorossi turned in an even more eye-catching display at the home of the Premier League champions.

Rudi Garcia’s men endured a nightmare start, conceding a penalty inside four minutes that was converted by Sergio Garcia, but equalised courtesy of a sublime finish from Francesco Totti before going on to create enough chances to have won the game.

Roma now sit second in the standings, two points behind Bayern but three ahead of City and, with both of their rivals yet to visit the Stadio Olimpico, Pjanic is feeling bullish about the Serie A side’s chances of springing a surprise by progressing to the last 16 at the expense of one of their cash-rich rivals.

“We knew of our quality and we wanted to play our game, even in City’s home,” the attacking midfielder told Sky Sport Italia.

“We were prepared to do it. The three of us in midfield [Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan and Seydou Keita] had to show personality to take the ball and create chances.

“The draw was well deserved and we could have got more out of the game.

“Still, the result is a positive one. We’re going well in the group.

“We are sure of our strength. Ours is a complicated group. However, City and Bayern still have to come to our home.

“We believe in ourselves and we know that we can go through.”

Roma now face home-and-away clashes with Bayern in the Champions League, hosting the Bavarians at the Olimpico on October 21 before travelling to the Allianz Arena on November 5.