Brendan Rodgers: 'Luis Suarez Ballon d'Or snub unfair'

Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona looks on during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Club Leon at Camp Nou on August 18, 2014
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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes that Luis Suarez's absence from the Ballon d'Or shortlist is 'unfair'.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has described former striker Luis Suarez as being an "incredible talent" who is among the top five players in the world.

The Uruguay international did not make the 23-man Ballon d'Or shortlist announced this week, despite being voted Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year in England following a 31-goal campaign for the Reds.

Rodgers admits that he is surprised by the snub, saying that he believes Suarez is being wrongly punished for his bite on Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.

"I can't think of a reason why Luiz shouldn't be on the shortlist," he is quoted as saying by The Mirror. "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, [Lionel] Messi, Neymar, Suarez and [Gareth] 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."

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been installed as the early favourite to win the prestigious award.

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