Incoming Sheffield Wednesday signing Massimo Luongo is a former Ballon D'or nominee
Sheffield Wednesday-bound Massimo Luongo was shocked to find his name among the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo on a long-list for the 2015 Ballon D’or.
The midfielder, who has made 43 appearances for his native Australia and featured at the 2018 World Cup, was nominated for the prestigious award after his performances in the Asia Cup earlier that year.
Fresh off a loan move at third-tier Swindon Town from current club QPR, the displays earned him the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award and a shock place on the 59-man shortlist
Speaking at the time, Luongo described the nomination as “a bit random”.
“I didn’t even know if it was real. I thought it was someone trying to be funny,” he said.
Taking it in his stride, the then 23-year-old admitted his team mates had joked about the nomination.
Alongside the likes of Eduardo Vargas and David Ospina, he was predictably cut from the final 23-man list before the vote some weeks later.
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He said: “It’s obviously a big honour, not many people get on it, I can say I’ve been on the Ballon d’Or list now.
“I don’t know what to say about it, it’s a bit random.”
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi went on to claim the prize with 41% of the vote, with Ronaldo second and Neymar third. Luongo had to settle for a place in the League One Team of the Year.
A fee has been agreed between Wednesday and QPR for the midfielder, who was left out of Saturday’s opening day match at Stoke City on Saturday.
He is understood to be undergoing a medical with Wednesday this morning.