The Rebound’s sources in Trondheim have indicated that Nicklas Bendtner has communicated to FIFA his disgust at being left out of the running for this year’s The Best Men’s Player award.
The prolific Danish striker is believed to have Whatsapped Gianni Infantino directly, and the text of that message has been leaked to The Rebound by a figure close to the player.
“Oi, Gianni, you bald c**t,” it begins. “What’s this all about then, putting some lad called Modric up there ahead of me? Were you not watching the Norwegian game last year? I’ve rattled in 32 goals in 70 appearances for Rosenborg over the past 18 months. If that’s not ‘The Best’ form I don’t know what is?”
When the original shortlist for The Best was released in July, Bendtner was apparently surprised but not shocked at not seeing his name on the docket. Sources close to Bendtner have revealed that he presumed the omission was an elaborate joke and that he would be called up to the stage at the eleventh hour last night in London in order to claim a gong he feels is rightly his.
“Nicklas had a bit of a chuckle when he didn’t make the longlist a few months ago,” said the source. “He thought all along that Gianni, who he considers a friend, and the selection panel were just pulling his leg.
“It never crossed his mind, even when the list was whittled down to three finalists earlier in September, that he wouldn’t be up there on Tuesday smiling and joking and commiserating Mo Salah and Luka Modric on missing out. He even rented a pink limo with a satellite TV to drive him in circles around The South Bank Centre so he wouldn’t be delayed getting onto the dais.”
— #TheBest (@FIFAcom) September 24, 2018
Today, Bendtner is said to be numb with disbelief, having watched agog as Real Madrid’s Luka Modric was handed the trophy at the Royal Festival Hall.
Famously, while on the books at Arsenal, the Dane opened up in relation to his belief that he was the best player in the world, and is thought to have have developed an unshakeable resolve in recent months that he was a shoe-in for this year’s award.
In his pre-prepared acceptance speech, he was due to pay tribute to those who helped him most on his long journey to the pinnacle of the global game, Park Chu-Young and Marouane Chamakh. Sadly, the world must wait until next year to hear it, as it seems hard to credit that he will miss out again in 2019.