Italy boycott Ballon d'Or over Gianluigi Buffon absence
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 11/01/16 10:40pm
Italy boycotted the Ballon d'Or vote because Gianluigi Buffon was not included in the 59-man shortlist, Sky Sports News HQ understands.
The veteran goalkeeper, who is still first choice for both his country and Serie A champions Juventus at 37 years old, did not make the preliminary list released in October.
Other 'keepers chosen over him include Barcelona's Claudio Bravo, Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer, Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea, David de Gea at Manchester United and Arsenal's David Ospina.
Fellow Juve stars Giorgio Chiellini, Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata, as well as former players Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez, were all included.
But Buffon was subsequently named in the 55-player shortlist for the 2015 FIFPro World XI.
The last time Buffon, who lifted an Italian treble with Juventus in 2015, was nominated for a Ballon d'Dor was in 2013.
He was nominated for the award for a sixth consecutive time in 2008 and finished runner-up in 2006. He was nominated for a Ballon d'Or for the first time in 1999 and finished in ninth place in the 2003 award.
Lionel Messi won the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or over Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar, which is decided by selected journalists, coaches and club captains.