Pep unhappy with FIFA Best Men's Player Award 2019 nominations
Premier League champions Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has questioned the rationale behind the FIFA Best Men's Player Award 2019 nominations. Pep was left bemused after no City player made the cut. Under Pep, City won the Shield, Premier League, FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, last season. Surprisingly, nobody was considered for the 10-man shortlist. Here's what Pep said.
Here's the full shortlist
Here are the players who made the cut. Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands and Ajax), Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands and Ajax), Eden Hazard (Belgium and Chelsea), Harry Kane (England and Tottenham), Sadio Mane (Senegal and Liverpool), Kylian Mbappe (France and Paris St-Germain), Lionel Messi (Argentina and Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal and Juventus), Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Netherlands and Liverpool).
Pep takes a dig at the awards
"Maybe we have to win five or six or get 250 points to be considered next season. These awards are normally when you win the Champions League. We were in the last stages and the other competitions do not count, are not important," he opined.
Bernardo Silva's omission a big surprise
City's versatile play-maker Bernardo Silva was surprisingly ignored. He was superb throughout the domestic campaign and shined for Portugal as well. Silva made 43 appearances for City last season and scored 13 goals. He also made numerous assists. The 24-year-old also made the vital assist in the Nations League final that helped Portugal lift the trophy. He also helped City reach quarters of UCL.
Pep weighs in on Bernardo
"I don't think there is one player who had a better season than Bernardo Silva last season, even winning [the Nations League] with Portugal," said the City boss.
City players didn't win the PFA award as well
Pep has a reason to feel this way as no City player even went on to bag the PFA Player of the Year award, even though the team clinched the EPL. During City's league win In 2011-12, Robin van Persie got the award. In 2013-14 season, Liverpool's Luis Suarez picked up the prize. Mo Salah and Van Dijk won in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.
Pep highlights the treatment City players have received
"In eight years, winning four times the Premier League is quite good. And never one player - not David [Silva], not Vincent [Kompany], not Yaya [Toure] - won, not even suggested. Huge respect for Mohamed Salah, but Kevin De Bruyne that season when we made 100 points [in 2017-18] was above and beyond the normal situations," added the City manager.
City prepare for Liverpool test in Community Shield
Meanwhile, City face Liverpool in the 2019-20 season curtain-raiser with the Community Shield on Sunday. Last season, City overcame Liverpool by a single point to win the EPL. Pep concluded, "We start from zero now, we start again and are ready to accept the challenge."