Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has lashed out at UEFA’s decision to exclude Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez from the shortlist of their Best Player award.
Barcelona vice-president Jordi Mestre has branded UEFA’s decision to omit their club stars Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez from its final shortlist for the Best Player award “scandalous”. Suarez and Messi came fourth and fifth respectively on the shortlist, behind the top three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann. This decision meant the governing body has had to face the wrath of Barcelona faithfuls from all over the world.
Even though Lionel Messi’s exclusion has not been met by much fury, fans and pundits alike are especially baffled at the choice to exclude Luis Suarez from the shortlist, with the Uruguayan having a blistering season last term. Gareth Bale was preferred by UEFA over the former Liverpool striker, who has been statistically far superior than the Welsh superstar.
Goals + assists in 2015/16:
Suarez and Messi not nominated for UEFA player of the year
— London Gooner (@LondonGoona) August 5, 2016
Jordi Mestre was asked about his opinions by TV3 in the lead-up to Barcelona’s friendly against Liverpool. The vice-president’s views were not too different from his club’s fans as he questioned the criteria that the governing body considered while arriving at the decision.
“It doesn’t seem the right decision to me at all. I don’t know what criteria UEFA applied, with all respect to the chosen winners, but I disagree [with the choices]. That our players aren’t there, such as Suarez or Messi, is scandalous. The club are very disappointed and angry,” Mestre told TV3, as reported by Football Espana.
Awards like these are always subject to controversies. This year, though, would be only the second time in the history of the award that Barcelona have not been represented in the final three despite the numbers backing their forward Luis Suarez which, in Mestre’s own words, has made the club’s hierarchy angry and disappointed.