The 30 nominations were revealed yesterday for the coveted prize but there were some notable exceptions.
France Football, who run the annual award for the world’s best player, claim Hazard’s ‘insipid’ displays for much of 2016 was the reason behind his omission.
“Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez was really close”
Ballon d’Or organisers France Football
They said: “If there was only one put forward, it would probably be him. Seeing Eden Hazard away from this list can be an anomaly.
“There is nothing in view of [the] insipid performances of the Belgian during most of 2016.
“After 22nd place in 2013, 21st in 2014 and a very nice eighth position last year, Hazard restarts [from] zero.”
France Football admit that Arsenal’s Ozil and Sanchez were close to making the shortlist but say a dip in form saw them just miss out.
Talking about Ozil, France Football said: “This is the third consecutive year that the German misses out.
“His many highlights in the Premier League with Arsenal were not enough.”
On Sanchez they said: “Fourteen goals for Arsenal, three with Chile in the Copa America won by Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men.
“Alexis Sanchez was really close. But his relative transparency during the Champions League has inevitably weighed.”