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Edin Dzeko Named Ballon d’Or Finalist

By this measure, Dzeko was one of the 30 best players on the planet last year.

AC Milan v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Last week we passed along a bit of good news for our dear ole Edin Dzeko. On the back of a five goal stretch, Roma’s Bosnian Batistuta was named WhoScored’s Serie A player of the month for September. A completely ceremonial and meaningless title, but a noteworthy bit of PR nonetheless. Well, today’s plaudits are just a bit more meaningful than that. Edin Dzeko, yes that Edin Dzeko, has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or.

Yes, the man who two years ago couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn was just nominated for the game’s most prestigious award, along with 29 other players ranging from Neymar to Paulo Dybala to Coutinho to Jan Oblak.

Will he win it? Of course not, but it is testament to his torrid 2016-2017 season, one in which he netted 39 goals in all competitions, leading both Serie A and the Europa League. For Dzeko this marks the second time he’s made the final 30, receiving the same honors in 2009 when he was fresh off a 20+ goal campaign for German champions Wolfsburg.

For the past decade the Ballon d’Or has been the Messi-Ronaldo achievement award, so it would take a miracle of the highest order for anyone to upset that duo, so if not Dzeko, who’s your pick to upset the Messi-Ronaldo hegemony?