Alessandro Del Piero was omitted from contention for any of the major individual European and World football honors despite sculpting an Italian renaissance last season for Juventus.
The Italian led the Serie A in scoring, netting 21 times for his beloved club while also contributing directly to many of strike-partner Trezeguet's 20 goals.
In fact, it was the diminutive Del Piero who set up the Frenchman on the last day of the season to equal his own tally for the year, only to cheekily score again in the match while Trezeguet stood open in front of an empty net.
Perhaps his absence in the award ceremonies highlights the over-emphasis FIFA places on international competition, as Del Piero didn't have much of a year wearing the blue of his nation, and Juventus did not compete in the Champion's League.
Nor was his impact on Serie A impressive to France Football, who snubbed the player in the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or.
To further complicate matters and contribute to this strange coincidence, Del Piero was not shortlisted for either FifPro award—the individual honor or the World XI list, which is voted on by players.
Despite, at the age of 34, leading all scorers in the Italian top flight, the aging genius did not even get a mention.
Many of his goals during 2007/2008 were downright crackers. Classy finishes on breakaways, curling and driven free-kicks, and clinical finishes inside the box.
It's inexplicable how the man who led the Italian line on FIFA 96, as John Motson invariably yelled "Del Piero.. Del Piero!", could lead all scorers 11 years later and not even cordially make a shortlist.
Kaka made the final XI for the FifPro award, and is expected to challenge Ronaldo for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year, despite AC Milan failing to qualify for the Champion's League. Del Piero appeared seven more times in the top flight than the young Brazilian, scoring six more goals.
Kaka scored twice in eight appearances for Milan during their disappointing Champion's League campaign.
Del Piero somehow evaded any accolades for his brilliance last season, but the masterful Italian deservedly has all my plaudits in writing.
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