Former Magpies midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has been nominated for the FIFA Ballon d’Or for 2019 – alongside the likes of Ronaldo, Mbappe and Mane.
The Dutch international played for the Toon for one season when the club was relegated from the Premier League in 2015/16. Despite relegation, “Gini” finished as the club’s top goalscorer, with his 11 goals midfield to earn his switch to Liverpool for £25million.
The move looks a steal for Liverpool, with the player becoming a mainstay in Jurgen Klopp’s side. Wijnaldum has become a fan’s favourite after scoring twice in the Reds stunning 4-0 against Barcelona in April – a win that would guide them to Champions League glory earlier this year.
You can’t blame Gini for wanting to leave the club after relegation to the Championship. He came to England to play in the Premier League and has since proven he is levels above where Newcastle United are at the moment, but the club did at least manage to invest the fee received to acquire players better suited to the second tier. It was a win/win all around really and fans could hardly point the finger at Gini for being a reason for the club’s relegation.
The full list of players that have been nominated for the Ballon d’Or is down below, with 15 announced today and 15 still yet to be announced. Maybe one day we will see a current Newcastle player nominated for the award!
- Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
- Dusan Tadic (Ajax)
- Frenkie De Jong (Barcelona)
- Sergio Aguero (Man City)
- Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
- Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
- Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona)
- Donny van de Beek (Ajax)
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
- Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
- Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
- Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)
- Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)