He won’t win it, but Gerard Moreno has been justly nominated for the 2021 Ballon D’or. Thirty finalists have been named for the award, including many of the usual suspects such as PSG’s Lionel Messi and Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Five La Liga players have been nominated, and in addition to Moreno, Karim Benzema of Real Madrid, Luis Suarez of Atleti, Pedri of Barcelona, and former winner Luka Modric also of Madrid.
With all due respect to Pedri, who has a long future ahead of him, he has no business being on this list. The youngster was not the only odd inclusion, as Cesar Azpilicueta benefited from his club’s success and Neymar just happens to be famous at this point in his career.
It’s absolutely incredible that a Villarreal player is included in this list of players, though he entirely deserves it. Gerard was incredible last season, bringing us 30 goals and 12 assists in all competitions and bringing us our first ever trophy. Injuries and apparent fatigue have kept him from getting off the mark so far this season in La Liga, but I expect it is only a matter of time before he’s back to his old self, surrounded by more attacking talent than ever with Danjuma playing out to his left. When his career is over, there will be plenty of discussion as to who Villarreal’s best ever player is, but for me it’s the man who led the attack that won us our first trophy as a club.