Saturday, October 30, 2010

Madridista Corner: Who Should Win The Ballon d'Or?

Due to my poor health recently (which has kept me from watching quite a few matches), and my busy schedule in college I haven't been able to take some time out to write a full fledged post, I start a few but due to the lack of time, I have to leave posts unfinished and by the time I come back, the post seems irrelevant (Mou's 0-0s, Pedro Leon's exclusion, etc).

I may not have been able to update the blog often, but I surely can update the Twitter account for the blog because it takes lesser amount of time, and I tweeted about the Ballon d'Or and I had a lively disucssion on my hand, and that's how I landed upon the topic for this post.

The 23 men short-listed for the Ballon d'Or are: Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlán (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Júlio César (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Mesut Özil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).

Now on Twitter everyone agreed that Dani Alves shouldn't have made the list, I guess even Dani Alves agrees that he shouldn't be on the list, and that's one of the reason why all of the contributors for this post agreed that the awards are a bit of a joke, can't say I blame them.

Last year the exclusion of Robin Van Persie and a lot of inclusions didn't go down well with me, and this is year too, the nominations are a bit dodgy, and that too has been taken up by the contributors (Asamoah Gyan nominated, really? What were these guys smoking?).

Ex-Real Madrid boy—Wesley Sniejder got a whole lotta love from the contributors, and why shouldn't he? He led Internazionale to the treble, helped the Netherlands to a second place finish in the World Cup, there should be questions asked as to why NOT give him the award if anything.

Then Xavi Hernandez of the enemy camp got love from the Madridistas as well, heck, last season I wanted Xavi Hernandez to get the Ballon d'Or last year after securing 6 trophies with Barcelona as he was (IS) the most important player for the Blaugaranas, but as the award's is always given to the flashier player and who's more famous, Lionel Messi won it. Although I don't think he should get it this season.

My pick for the Ballon d'Or this season is San Iker, and on this topic, people bring the topic of what he did in the season, I counter it with the fact that Real Madrid conceded the fourth least goals last season, then people play the trophies card, I say World Cup and back it by saying, "Andres Iniesta did NOTHING last season and he's nominated just because he scored a few goals in the World Cup and one in the final, if he's on the list, Iker should be getting this award because if it wasn't for Iker, Spain wouldn't have made it to the finals (thanks to Pique)!" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA PERFECTLY OWNED!

Sorry got a little carried away, now I'll let you read the views of my Madridista friends on who should win this year's Ballon d'Or.

Saajid: (Twitter: @ILoveReal): Iker Casillas

 I think Iker Casillas should win the Ballon d'Or. He was crucial to the progress of Spain in the World Cup and was pretty good at club level. The last time a goalkeeper won this award was in 1963, when Lev Yashin won he award. No other goalkeeper has been considered the best footballer in the world since and I think that Casillas is actually the best in the world right now. Being a goalkeeper myself (amateur, of course), I can see the amazing work this guy has done for both club and country. Captaining the best football club in the world and Spain to its first World Cup ever is no easy feat; San Iker did it fantastically well.

Pamela: (Twitter: @Pamela_ ): Iker Casillas

When talking about who should win the Ballon d'Or, IMO, we should look for consistent performances as well as achievements over the entire year. Given his team won the treble, his country reached the World Cup final and he scored 5 important goals along the way, it's easy - Sneijder. But, for the past years, it was always a World Cup winner. Honestly, I don't see Iniesta getting this award after missing a big part of Barcelona's season due to injury, nor do I see Xavi winning it with his 7 goals in 53 games. If it wasn't for Casillas's brilliant saves, Spain wouldn't have won, so if it has to be a World Cup winner, San Iker deserves it.

Kaushik: (Real Madrid Offisde, Twitter: @kaushiklakshman): Wesley Sneijder

Generally there is always a clear winner for the Ballon d'or. Obviously this isn't the case this year. For me two players stand out. Wesley Sneijder and Xavi are the two with the fattest chance of winning the award. Xavi is widely regarded as the orchestrator of Spain's World Cup winning team. He also had a good season in La Liga where he was instrumental in Barcelona's title winning campaign. Sneijder on the other hand seems to have accomplished the rare task of leading a team to a treble season for Internazionale, also going to the finals of the World Cup where they went on to lose for Spain. Both have an equal chance, but knowing FIFA who gives excessive importance to World Cups (Yes, the time when Zidane deserved the award and Cannavaro ended up with it), I think Xavi will bag the award, as much as I want Sneijder to.

What I am more interested to find out though is who gets the inaugral Coach of the year award where Jose Mourinho and Vincente Del Bosque are in a similar competiton.

Tanuj: (The Real Madrid Fan, Twitter: @realmadrid_rock): Wesley Sneijder

First up, the whole concept of combining FIFA World Player of the year and Ballon d'Or seems ridiculous considering most of the contendors did well at the World Cup and not throughout the year. If both the things are taken into consideration then Wesley Sneijder would be my favourite to get the award. Sneijder had a superb year in Inter colours where he went about creating chances for Milito and Eto'o and also grabbing goals for himself through free kicks and even the most outrageous of distances.At the World Cup, Netherlands had both Wesley and Robben on different flanks and both the players have the capability to stretch the defence which they clearly did versus Brazil.

 Ashay: (Another Prick In The Wall, Twitter: @prickinthewall): Xavi Hernandez

This is the first edition of the prestigious Balon D'Or and the fictitious FIFA WPOTY awards combined. As such I expected to see some players make it totally on reputation, and I wasn't disappointed. However some inclusions like Asamoah Gyan were downright shocking. It's as if they had to make up the numbers with some representation from Africa.

As for my choice, I really want Xavi to win it. Xavi has been THE player for club and country for the past 3 years. At the moment in world football, I yet have to see a player who has been as consistent as Xavi has been for both club and country in the past 3 years. He has won every team award from 2008, starting with the league title, Copa Del Rey, UCL, Euro 2008, World Cup 2010. And it's not just the sheer amount of titles he has won. He has been the lynchpin in every team he has played for in the past 3 years. I do not see any other player in that list who deserves that award more than Xavi does.

Midhun: (Facebook): Xavi Hernandez:

I think he has been the most influential footballer for club and country over the past two years. His vision is immaculate, and offers great balance to any midfield and easily controls the tempo even though the fact that both Barcelona and Spain play the same brand of football means he hasn’t had to adapt to different styles unlike great footballers of previous era. Sneijder will be a close second.

These are the views of a few Madridistas, and without planning, the six of these are divided in groups of two supporting three different players, what about that?! You might have something to share with us and that's why the comment system is provided at the end, would love your feedback. If you want to be a part of the "Madridista Corner" send me an email on Gracias.


  1. hey nice article man. glad to have contributed.

    i guess everyone has said what there is to be told. iker getting it would be, well, there would be nothing like it. only time will tell.

  2. Nice idea. Happy I got to contribute :)

    I forgot to say that it's absolutely insane that players like Asamoah Gyan get nominated for their World Cup performances, and people like Wayne Rooney and Milito don't.

  3. I am thankful you contributed. :)

  4. It's good Rooney or Milito didn't get nominated, they don't desreve to be, but neither do Gyan or Alves.... (or Iniesta)



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