Monday, January 10, 2011

Ballon d'Or (Part 2): Disappointment Brewed Bitterly

In part one of my Ballon d'Or post, Disappointment is Brewing, I expressed extreme outrage over the process regarding this year's award. Just when I thought my disgust for FIFA's player selections was at it's peak, Lionel Messi was chosen as the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner. This decision has enraged me.

Lionel Messi: 2010 Ballon d'Or Winner
I have nothing against Messi - he is one of the best footballers in the world and had a wonderful 2010 (49 goals in 58 games). Regardlessly, I would argue that there were three players who were better than him in 2010: Wesley Sneijder, Andres Iniesta, and Xavi. All three deserved to win this award over Messi. Moreover, I feel that Sneijder, given his excellent club and country form last year, should have been lifting this trophy, yet failed to feature in the three-man shortlist. Sneijder did more with less, in a more competitive league (La Liga is being hailed as a 'two-horse' race, as we speak) and was unbelievably left out in the cold. So, from the get-go today, my distaste for this award was elevated.

Given Sneijder's omission, I would have accepted Iniesta or Xavi winning this award. Both had a championship winning year at Barcelona and were the heartbeat of Spain's triumph at the World Cup this summer. The Spanish duo ooze excellence and are worthy candidates for this award. To top it off, their prowess in the midfield for Barcelona surely can be linked to Messi's incredible 2010 goal tally. How in the world did Iniesta or Xavi not win this award? They were as good as Messi during the season and pipped his efforts at the World Cup. I want answers, people! And by answers, I do not mean comments to the effect of "Messi had so many goals in 2010" or "Messi is the best player ever". Those are not sound arguments, they are simple assertions attempting to explain the improbable.

Iniesta and Xavi during their triumph in South Africa
To sum it up, there were four things I found unbelievable about the 2010 Ballon d'Or process:
1) Diego Alberto Milito not being named on the 23-man shortlist.
2) Wesley Sneijder not winning the award or being named on the three-man shortlist.
3) Given the above circumstance, Andres Iniesta or Xavi not winning the award.
4) Lionel Messi winning the award, even to his amazement

Some journalists and pundits are simply shrugging off this decision, admitting they could care less who wins the footballer of the year award. This makes me question their role in the voting of such an award. The way I see it, the misappropriation of this award justifies beliefs that FIFA is flying blindly. Be it bad leadership or bad politics, FIFA has made several aggravating decisions over the past few months (i.e. Qatar 2022............) that has put it's fairness in question. FIFA's mystifying actions make the soccer governing body seem like a secret society of sorts, as hardly anyone in the public domain can understand their decision-making process. Obviously, the slew of votes for the Ballon d'Or comes from captains, coaches, and the media (see this year's voting stats here), but I still hold FIFA at fault for not giving the best footballer of the year his recognition. The award is the FIFA Ballon d'Or, after all. They have the power to do what's right, and unfortunately I believe that Messi winning this award was wrong! I have nothing against the magical Argentine who will continue to write history, but 2009 was his year, not 2010. Sneijder, Iniesta, and Xavi have been unjustly done by this decision.

Please share your thoughts with me and stay tuned for my next post, which slide tackles the issue of "Ronaldo vs. Messi" and how the media's comparison of them is getting very old. I swear, I don't hate Messi!

1 comment:

  1. Mourinho's thoughts: