Written by Matt Taylor posted in National Teams news & Games Discussions October 04, 2015, 03:37:17 PM 781 Views
Media outlets in Spain, Italy and England have all questioned the inclusion of Australia midfielder Massimo Luongo on a leaked 59-man Ballon d'Or list.
Italian media was particularly outraged that the Championship player was in ahead of Gianluigi Buffon with leading sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport describing it as an "own goal" on their front page.
It wasn't only Luongo's inclusion that raised eyebrows. Arsenal's David Ospina and Bournemouth's Christian Atsu were also nominated.
AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini was highly critical of the decision to omit Buffon.
"The trophy loses value when it just comes down to pleasing clubs and federations," Maldini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Come on, how is this possible? It's absurd. There are players there just because of their name.
"Gigi deserves to be on the list for what he has achieved and how he has achieved it. At nearly 38 years old, he is still one of the three best goalkeepers in the world.
"Ok, I accept Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) and (Thibaut) Courtois (Chelsea), but Bravo and Ospina?"
AS, Madrid's second most popular sports daily newspapers, accused FIFA of "belittling" the award by nominating