Luis Suarez Ballon d’Or omission shocks Bartra

The Barcelona defender has expressed shock that his team-mate, who scored 31 goals in 33 league appearances at Liverpool last season, is not in the running for the award

Barcelona centre-back Marc Bartra says he is surprised that Luis Suarez is not on the Ballon d’Or shortlist.

The Uruguay international scored 31 goals in 33 appearances for Liverpool in the Premier League last season, with 12 being netted in 2014 for the English side with a further 11 assists.

But he has seemingly paid the price for his bite on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, as he was kept out of action for a full four months, only returning last week, and has been left off the 23-man list.

Bartra believes the forward, who set up Barca’s opening goal for Neymar in the 3-1 Clasico defeat against Real Madrid, should be among the candidates for the individual accolade.

“I’m surprised,” Bartra told beIN Sports. “It’s true. I think he had a spectacular year. He’s a great player, he is one of the best strikers in the world and I think he deserves to be there [on the shortlist].”

The 23-year-old also talked about his side’s recent high-profile defeats – in Suarez’s return against Madrid and versus Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

“We couldn’t win against the toughest opponents so far, but I think the team is confident and eager to continue playing good football,” he added.

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