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David de Gea shortlisted for 2017 FIFA Ballon d’Or award

by Leo Nieboer

David de Gea has been included in the 30-man shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for 2017 following a superb year at Manchester United.

The Spaniard was controversially left out of the shortlist last year while Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris was handed a place instead.

He has enjoyed an imperious start to the 2017/18 campaign with eight clean sheets from ten games, while the last time somebody scored past him at Old Trafford was in April.

And the 26-year-old, for the very first time, has been handed a place amongst the 30 best players from the past year alongside Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.

This is long overdue to say the least. That De Gea wasn’t shortlisted back in either 2014 and 2015, during which he saved Man United’s skin on a variety of occasions, is nothing short of staggering, but such is life.

And yet, you sense none of this bothers De Gea in the slightest. He has never displayed an inclination to hog the limelight or boost his public profile. Results and good performances are what matter to him more than anything.

Indeed, the crucial element behind De Gea’s selection this time around is that he has continued to commit himself to the cause and produce vital stops on such a regular basis. And that, more than anything, is the hallmark of a good keeper.

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