Alexis Sanchez and five flops snubbed from world's 50 best players

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Millions were spent on them and big performances were expected, but some of the world's biggest names never lived up to the hype in 2018

Some of the biggest names in world football are fighting it out to be crowned the winner of Goal 50 after an exciting year where France triumphed at the World Cup and Real Madrid lifted the Champions League for the third successive year.

Many of the greatest stars shone for club and country, with the World Cup showcasing most of the top players in the world. However, while those stars were shining brightly, some major names had years that they would much rather forget, underperforming for their clubs, struggling for their countries or not living up to enormous price tags..

The winner of Goal 50 will be announced on Tuesday, November 13 along with the 49 other best players from the past 12 months. But which superstars flopped majorly and totally missed out on a spot in the final Goal 50 list?


Alexis Sanchez - Man Utd & Chile


After a frustrating start to the 2017-18 season at Arsenal, Alexis Sanchez was sold to Manchester United in January with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading in the opposite direction. However, since becoming the highest paid player at Old Trafford, the only impressive performance he has played was a keyboard ditty during his extravagant announcement video. He missed the World Cup due to Chile's failure to qualify but, despite having a summer to rest and recuperate, continued to put in below-par performances for United.


Alvaro Morata - Chelsea & Spain


Alvaro Morata Chelsea 04102018

Chelsea's £60 million ($78m) replacement for Diego Costa scored 10 Premier League goals in the first half of the 2017-18 season, but added just one after January as he was overshadowed by winter transfer Olivier Giroud. Morata's ineffectiveness in front of goal also cost him a place in the Spain squad for the World Cup, where Costa showed his ruthless streak once again, annoying many Chelsea fans in the process.


Jerome Boateng - Bayern Munich & Germany


Jerome Boateng Germany

The centre-back was not fully fit when he started Bayern Munich's Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid. As a result, he hobbled off early and thus head coach Jupp Heynckes was forced to change his gameplan as the Bundesliga champions were knocked out by the Spanish side. Boateng recovered for the World Cup but was abysmal for Germany, who recorded their worst result at the tournament since 1938.


Leonardo Bonucci - AC Milan & Italy


Leonardo Bonucci Juventus Milan Coppa Italia 05092018

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Italy's failure to qualify for the World Cup meant that Bonucci had a summer off. He needed it after a year where he decided to trade in Juventus for AC Milan only to see his former club win every single trophy Italy had to offer. His performances were very poor at Milan in the first half of 2017-18 and, although he improved after the New Year, the fans never took him into their hearts. His bizarre year then saw him return to Juventus as part of a swap deal for Gonzalo Higuain.


Ousmane Dembele - Barcelona & France


Ousmane Dembele Barcelona 2018-19

Ousmane Dembele is a World Cup winner, but he can hardly claim to have influenced any of France's results en route to the final. His domestic season was also successful for his trophy cabinet - with Barcelona winning La Liga - but he failed miserably to repay his €105 million transfer fee from Borussia Dortmund as he suffered from poor fitness and form throughout the campaign.

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