Spoiler Alert: Here are five huge names who have failed to make The Goal 50

The 2015 Goal 50 will feature the creme de la creme of the footballing elite – but five superstars won’t be in the upcoming countdown…

The Goal 50, which recognises and ranks the world’s 50 best footballers of the past 12 months, is set to be revealed on Friday, November 27.

From Monday, we will start revealing the names of those who have made this year’s list ahead of the final countdown four days later.

As always, there will be a number of huge names who did not do enough to make our elite list.

Below are five footballers who have been present in recent years, but won’t be making an appearance in the 2015 edition.


Wayne Rooney might be one of the most recognisable footballers on the planet, but the Manchester United skipper has been declining for a number of years now.

Despite recently becoming England’s all-time top goalscorer, the 30-year-old is struggling to maintain the standards he set earlier in his career and last season he notched up just 12 league goals.


Miralem Pjanic was one of the new faces in last year’s Goal 50, placing 20th after his superb central midfield performances saw Roma surprisingly challenge Juventus for the Scudetto.

Roma’s remarkable dip in form at the turn of 2015 is the reason why none of their players feature this time around. However, his superb start to the new campaign suggests the Bosnian could well return next year.


Iker Casillas endured a miserable 2014-15 season. He won no major trophies, and was constantly booed by supporters before being forced out of the club he had graced for more than 15 years.

After a string of individual errors in Madrid, the Spain No.1 will be hoping to silence his critics after moving to FC Porto. He will also have an eye on Euro 2016 as he attempts to win back his Goal 50 place.


Robin van Persie made the top 20 of The Goal 50 last year, when his World Cup heroics with Netherlands justified his lofty position despite his dwindling impact on Manchester United in the Premier League.

His influence waned even further once Louis van Gaal took charge at Old Trafford and he was sold to Fenerbahce in the summer, where he has failed to impress so far. And that’s not even touching on his disastrous efforts for his country as they failed to qualify for Euro 2016.


One of Borussia Dortmund’s star players for the past couple of years, Marco Reus’ absence from The Goal 50 is unsurprising given how badly Jurgen Klopp’s men performed last season.

However, should he remain injury-free, most will expect Reus to be in Goal 50 contention once again next year – especially with Dortmund reinvigorated under Thomas Tuchel and with Germany challenging for Euro 2016.

VOTE: Which player will be missed most at Euro 2016?

All 24 teams have now booked their place at next summer’s tournament in France, but there will be some big absentees – who’s absence will be felt most keenly?

All 24 teams for next summer’s European Championships have now been confirmed, but with some big nations missing out the tournament will be deprived of a host of world-class talent.

The Netherlands’ clutch of attacking superstars, who finished third at the last World Cup, will all be absent, while the likes of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Denmark also missed out.

GALLERY: The top 20 players to miss Euro 2016

That means Euro 2016 will be without Arjen Robben, so dangerous in recent finals, Roma maestro Miralem Pjanic, striker Edin Dzeko, who was only out-scored by three other players in qualifying, and many more.

HAVE YOUR SAY | There are many huge names missing, but who’s absence will hit hardest? Which player will you most miss? Vote in the poll below and leave a comment…


Pjanic upbeat about Roma's last-16 chances

The Italians were left sweating after letting slip an early two-goal advantage but a late penalty gave them three points and they hold a narrow lead over Bayer with two games left

Miralem Pjanic feels Roma are in a good position to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League following Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Serie A side appeared to be cruising after 45 minutes, with Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko gifting them a 2-0 lead at the break.

Admir Mehmedi and Javier Hernandez netted a goal each after the interval to restore parity, however, before Pjanic eventually decided the match when he converted a penalty 10 minutes from time. 

Wednesday’s win saw Roma climb to second in Group E with five points from four games and Pjanic is optimistic about their chances of reaching the last 16. 

“We had to win, and we did it. We are not qualified yet, there’s still some work to do, but we are better placed than Leverkusen [on four points] after this win and it’s a positive note,” the midfielder was quoted as saying on the official Uefa website.

“We should have closed the game in the first half. We had many chances on the counter, but the three points are the most important thing for us.”

Roma travel to runaway leaders Barcelona on matchday five before hosting bottom side BATE in their final game.

The embarrassing stat that suggests it's time Ronaldo gives up taking free-kicks

The Real Madrid star fluffed two more set-pieces as he was frustrated against Paris Saint-Germain, extending his appalling record from dead-ball situations in recent times

Real Madrid had a frustrating evening against Paris Saint-German on Wednesday but no player will have come away from the Parc des Princes more disappointed than Cristiano Ronaldo as he extended an unwanted record.

The Portuguese star had two more free-kick attempts against PSG, though he failed to test the goalkeeper with both and only beat the wall with one, which means that he has now scored just two free-kicks from his last 88 attempts.

Ronaldo’s reputation as a free-kick specialist is beginning to evaporate, with Miralem Pjanic among the players showing him how it’s done; the Bosnian has scored four from eight attempts this season alone, while Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen netted two in one game against Swansea City.

While Pjanic’s free-kick strike-rate stands at a healthy 50 per cent, Ronaldo has scored only 2.2 per cent of his recent attempts, a pitiful return for a man whose infamous dead-ball stance is practically a trademark itself. In fact, Pjanic would need to miss his next 162 free-kicks to have such poor figures!

In total, Ronaldo had six shots against PSG without scoring (though his 33% shot accuracy was at least higher than his free-kick accuracy), and that was a major factor in Madrid picking up an unwanted record.

The stalemate against the French champions was the first time in seven years that los Blancos have failed to score in a group game, when Juventus shut them out back in November 2008. Ronaldo better find those shooting boots fast!

So, is Ronaldo’s free-kick ability just a little overrated? Decide for yourself…

Roma 5-1 Carpi: Garcia's five-star men leave new boys winless

The Giallorossi move up to third place in Serie A after dispatching Carpi in resounding fashion with goals from five different scorers, including Miralem Pjanic and Gervinho

Roma made light work of Carpi at the Stadio Olimpico, returning to winning ways in Serie A with a 5-1 victory over the struggling visitors.

Rudi Garcia’s men scored three goals in seven minutes to storm into a three-goal lead by the half-hour mark, with Kostas Manolas, Miralem Pjanic and Gervinho all finding the target.

Carpi pulled one back before the break through former Roma man Marco Borriello, but goals from Mohamed Salah and Lucas Digne saw the hosts gain an unassailable lead.

Both sides had opportunities to net the game’s seventh goal, but Gervinho hit the woodwork before Morgan De Sanctis denied Ryder Matos from the spot in the closing stages, leaving the visitors without a top-flight win this season.

It was Carpi who forged the first chance of the game, but after Borriello danced his way into the box he was denied at the near post by a fingertip save from De Sanctis.

It proved costly for the visitors, who found themselves behind in the 24th minute as Manolas tucked home his first goal for the club following a wayward shot from Digne.

By the 31st minute Garcia’s men had added a further two to their tally.

Pjanic’s wonderfully executed 20-yard free kick dumbfounded Zeljko Brkic before Gervinho volleyed home after the keeper could only parry a shot from Maicon straight to him.

Borriello reduced the deficit ahead of the interval, but six minutes after the restart the hosts restored their three-goal cushion when Salah added the finishing touch after Francesco Totti had been denied by Brkic on the counter-attack.

There could have been a second for Borriello but he fired wide after pouncing on a loose touch from Radja Nainggolan in the box and Digne quickly grabbed Roma’s fifth, opening his account for the club as he headed home at the back post following a cross from Maicon with 68 minutes on the clock.

Only the post stopped Gervinho from extending the hosts’ advantage, but a foul from Maicon gifted Carpi another chance to reduce the deficit with 15 minutes remaining.

However, Matos was denied from the spot by De Sanctis, who showed agility belying his years to get up and keep out the Brazilian’s follow-up effort as well.

Victory sends Roma, temporarily at least, up to third position in the table, while Carpi continue to languish in the relegation zone with just two points from their opening six fixtures.