‘It’s not the Golden Ball and Mouth’ – Rodgers blasts Suarez Ballon d’Or snub

The Liverpool boss is adamant that his former charge should have been nominated for the prestigious prize – despite the Uruguayan’s four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini

Brendan Rodgers insists there is no justification for Luis Suarez’s omission from Fifa’s 23-man shortlist for the 2014 Ballon d’Or.

Suarez led Liverpool to the brink of a first Premier League title since 1990 last season, scoring 31 goals and earning a blockbuster €94 million move to Barcelona in the summer.

The 27-year-old’s summer was overshadowed by the punishment he received for biting Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during Uruguay’s World Cup clash with Italy – the third such offence of his controversial career – but Rodgers believes his former star still deserved recognition for his achievements on the pitch.

“I can’t think of a reason why Luis shouldn’t be on the shortlist,” the Liverpool boss told reporters. “Certainly, football-wise, he should be on there. I can only think that it is because of the bite that he isn’t being considered – and I don’t believe that’s fair.

“If you are judging it on football – and that’s surely what it is because it is called the Golden Ball, not the Golden Ball and Mouth.

“If anyone in the world names the five best players at the moment they would probably say Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar, Suarez and Bale. How can four be in it and one not? It means the Ballon d’Or isn’t about football.

“I don’t know the histories of all the players on the short-list, but I’m sure that some of them have been guilty of misdemeanours somewhere along the way. Luis Suarez is an incredible talent. What a player.

“I don’t know whether it is a political decision, but if you are basing the Ballon d’Or on football then he should be on the short-list – and he would have a great chance of winning it.”

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