The Ballon D’or is more commonly known as the European Footballer of the year. It was started by French football magazine’s Gabriel Hanot in 1956. There is a long list of great players who have received this award. Players like Platini, Cryff and Van Basten have won the award three times each. Most recently Lionel Messi has won it in 2009 and 2010. In 2010 it merged with the Fifa world player of the year award to become the FIFA Ballon D’or.
On the first of November, a shortlist of 23 players was released by FIFA for the award this year. Here is the List:
Éric Abidal (France), Sergio Agüero (Argentina), Karim Benzema (France), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Dani Alves (Brazil), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fàbregas (Spain), Diego Forlán (Uruguay), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Nani (Portugal), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Özil (Germany), Gerard Piqué (Spain), Wayne Rooney (England), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), David Villa (Spain), Xabi Alonso (Spain), Xavi (Spain).
This list will be shortened to three players later on. No Doubt Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are guaranteed to be in that shortlist. If either one win the award it would be well deserved. So how do they decide who makes the shortlist of 23 players above.
Do FIFA only watch Barca Matches?
No less than eight players fromBarcelonaare nominated for the award and five from Real Madrid. Fifa should keep an eye on other leagues as well. Fifteen players from the Spanish league are on the shortlist of twenty-three.
Wonder how they decide on who should be on the shortlist? Some very questionable choices!
Diego Forlan? He did well for his country in the Copa America but only scored three goals in 21 appearances in 2011.
David Villa? Playing for Barcelona definitely has its perks, one of them is the perception that he has had a great 2011. With only 10 goals and 1 assist in 25 appearances, I wouldn’t call that worth the 23 top players in the world.
Luis Suarez? The saying goes “Strange things happen in Football” – non can be stranger than this one. It doesn’t take more than a gentle breeze to get Suarez off his feet anywhere near the box. Didn’t realize he was on his feet long enough in 2011 to be nominated for this award. What kind of message are Fifa sending nominating him?
Quiet a few other questionable additions, Benzema, Alves, Nani, Rooney, Pique and Abidal.
Let’s look at the ones who didn’t make the list
The ones that jump out at you are Di Natalie of Udinese – 24 goals and 6 assists in 26 appearances.
Mario Gomez – 24 goals and 3 assist in 23 appearances
Frank Ribery - 9 goals and 14 assists in 21 appearances
The biggest miss on the list has to be Robin Van Persie. In my opinion I would have given him the outside chance of piping Messi and Ronaldo to the award. Alas it is not to be, but why. He has had an incredible year. He has scored 26 goals and has 5 assists in just 24 appearances for Arsenal and 6 goals in 8 games forHolland. What more can he do to get the award.
The only player with a better record in 2011 is Ronaldo, scoring 31 goals and 11 assists in 26 appearances. Van Persie goals’ scoring is superior to Messi, who has scored 24 goals in 25 appearances.
Over and above being a goal scorer, Van Persie is the playmaker in the team. With Vision and skill he brings other players he brings other players into the game. He is a leader on the pitch and has taken over the captaincy this season. He is a role model on and off the pitch. He is often compared to Denis Bergkamp, who he was signed to replace in 2004. Van Persie however is very much his own player. He can turn a game on his own and pushes the Arsenal players to do better on the field. No greater example than his second hatrick for the club against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
FIFA have missed an open goal from six yards out! Yes Van Persie would have scored that one as well. There is no way Van Persie should be overlooked! Playing for Barcelona shouldn’t guarantee you a spot on this list. Ever hear of Fair Play? Someone should educate FIFA
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