By Juan Arango

Some might think that it is a tribute to a system or a philosophy.  Others think that it is a compliment to a team that is not just winning titles, but etching their names into an era.  Still there are several holes in the argument based on the way the players are selected.

Debating who the best player in the world is always topic for conversation. For starters, I disagree with part of the Spanish media as well as Iker Casillas who say that Lionel Messi was not a deserving winner of the Ballon D’Or.  As a matter of fact, I would not have a a problem if Xavi won it.  Iniesta would be a big sell to me as he had an extended absence during the season, scored only one goal during the season.  What had him come in with all the momentum in the world is the goal he scored that made him the King of Spain.

At this stage, it really doesn’t matter what I think.  It doesn’t matter who I thought should have won.  My point is that there was something that left mouths with a bitter taste in what was supposed to be the celebration

My big issue was not with the players on the ballot.  My problem was with the players and coaches that voted in this award.  If you check out how all the voters vote, you really can’t get a grip on what many were looking at.  I am not sure if it is because it is up to interpretation or the voters did not know exactly what their ballot should be based on.

What do I base my vote on if I am a voter?


This leads to the following questions:

Was is based on club performance?

Chad’s Eric Topona believed that Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan had a better year than the eventual top six players in this voting.  It seems like he voted with his heart, but you also have to know how to vote and why.

If votes should be based on club performance, Lionel Messi was deserving, although If that was the case then the biggest injustice was not even having Diego Milito in the top 32 list.  That snub gave the list a bit of a black eye that began to become more and more evident as time went by.  Milito had one of the most incredible runs as he was a vital part of Inter’s treble run.

Another player that needs to be placed in this list is Wesley Sneijder.  His snub from the final three was one that led to lots of controversy.  There was no doubt that he deserved to be in that list without hesitation- if it was based on performance on this end.  Sneijder though had another aspect as he was one of the leading scorers in the World Cup and he helped the Dutch reach the World Cup final.

Was it based on World Cup performance?

If we were to go back to 2006, the votes all went to Fabio Cannavaro.  He was without a doubt the most effective player on the team that eventually won the World Cup.  Cannavaro was the anchor of the Azzurriand everyone knew that he was going to win it because he was the one that shined the brightest on the world’s biggest stage.

Just months earlier, Ronaldinho Gaúcho led Barcelona to their second Champions League title and their 18th La Liga crown.  Although he was not the sharpest in the biggest club of the year, his season was absolutely brilliant.

Well, the final answer was no.  The World Cup meant little to nothing.  This is where this argument ends up tying itself in knots.  So based on that logic and the “criteria” used this time around, then Ronaldinho had to have won the award for a third consecutive time.

If we mentioned Sneijder earlier,we have to throw in Diego Forlán’s name because without him, Uruguay was never sniffing the semis.

My overall point is that the winner should be based on either the World Cup or club performance and remain that way.  A mix of the two, for goodness sakes.  Maybe we won’t agree on the winner, but we sure will be a little more understandable and know where the logic was coming from.

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