Man City news: Pep Guardiola hits out at Fifa Best Awards after Blues snubbed

The City boss is upset his players have not been recognised after winning the treble last season

Mark Critchley
Northern Football Correspondent
Sunday 04 August 2019 09:08
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Pep Guardiola has hit out at Fifa’s Best awards panel for failing to shortlist a Manchester City player for the best men’s player award.

The 10-man shortlist for Fifa’s 2019 award was announced this week, with Champions League winners Liverpool boasting three players – Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané.

Beaten finalists Tottenham Hotspur saw Harry Kane nominated and Europa League-winning Chelsea will be represented by Eden Hazard, who has since moved to Real Madrid.

But City were overlooked, despite completing an unprecedented domestic treble in English football last season by claiming the Premier League title as well as FA Cup and EFL Cup honours.

Guardiola feels City’s failure to progress past the Champions League knock-out stages cost them with the judges, though he also claimed that his players are not receiving the credit they deserve.

“I’m not going to say that the guys nominated for this award don’t deserve it, but for example our players in the [PFA Team of the Year] there were five or six who made it,” he said.

“It’s a little surprising for us because they were incredible last season. We won four titles but we were not able to be in it, not even once.

“Maybe because it’s seven games [i.e. the Champions League knock-out stages], for this award it’s seven games. Quarter-finals, semi-finals, finals.

“When you win the Champions League you will be there. The other 10 or 11 months don’t count for this kind of award. It is what it is. Maybe we have to win five titles? Or maybe six? Maybe we need 250 points to be considered to be there next season? We are going to try.”

Bernardo Silva was perhaps the most surprising omission from Fifa’s shortlist, given his starring role in Portugal’s Nations League success as well as his stand-out year at club level.

“I don’t think one player made a better season than Bernardo Silva last season, winning with Portugal,” Guardiola noted. “This club in eight years has won four Premier Leagues, so it’s quite remarkable. Never in these four seasons was one of our players nominated for the best. Never.

Guardiola is upset that City have not been recognised in the Fifa Best Awards

“We don’t have the history behind us but maybe in the future, people will think about this club. In eight years, winning the Premier League four times is good but never one player – not Sergio [Aguero], David [Silva], Vincent [Kompany], Yaya [Touré] – the players in the past were never suggested.”

Guardiola also suggested that the 2018 PFA Player of the Year should have been won by one of his players after their 100-point Premier League title win, rather than Salah.

“The year of 100 points, huge respect for Mohamed Salah, but Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva were both beyond the normal situations. But it’s opinions, of course we accept other players still deserve it.”

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