Every year, the infamous Fifa World Player of the Year Award comes out and every year I find myself wondering why I ever paid attention. Yes, if you’ve been living under a rock, or as I have suffering the after effects of jet lag and Barcelona, here’s the list. ‘ll join you after you read it.
FIFA World Player of the Year nominees:
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Petr Cech (Czech Republic), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Deco (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Michael Essien (Ghana), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Gennaro Gattuso (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Thierry Henry (France), Juninho (Brazil), Kaka (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Frank Lampard (England), Rafael Marquez (Mexico), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Alessandro Nesta (Italy), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribery (France), Juan Roman Riquelme (Argentina), Ronaldinho (Brazil), Wayne Rooney (England), John Terry (England), Carlos Tevez (Argentina), Lilian Thuram (France), Fernando Torres (Spain), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands), Patrick Vieira (France.
See anything glaring? Now I won’t argue that Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud or even Riquelme deserve to be on that list. Maybe Essien. They all had spectacular years. Kaka, Gerrard, Pirlo and Gattuso met in the Champions League final so you could also make a case for them as well. But the rest? How many of these are here because of reputation? Thuram and Viera are washed up has beens. Ribery hadn’t yet come into his own, and Torres had never lived up to his billing in Spain. Tevez spent most of the year on the bench at West Ham, Buffon most of the year in Serie B, and most everyone else spent a significant portion of the year injured; except for Deco who spent most of the year being confused with Iniesta and Xavi. Am I getting to my point yet?
I think I’m not arguing that these people shouldn’t be nominated, I’m not even worried so much with who will win because it’s obvious that one of these, Kaka, Drogba, C. Ronaldo, or Messi, deserve it just as much as any.
Yet, eternally injured Rafa Marquez gets nominated, over the Golden Boot winner in Europe- Francesco Totti?
I realize that I’m biased for Totti, but I’m trying to be objective here as well. Is Petr Cech more deserving of the award than Pepe Reina who got his club to the CL final? Is Miroslav Klose more deserving than Raul Tamudo or Daniel Alves who both met on the field in Scotland for the UEFA Cup final? God, even David Beckham deserves votes for inspiring his club to wins down the stretch for Real Madrid.
I realize this is a popularity contest, and Francesco Totti, who isn’t even liked by the majority in his own country (outside of Rome I guess) won’t be winning any, but there are glaring cases like this that completely underscore how stupid this award really is. Give it to Kaka, who seems the darling of Fifa anyway, and of Brazilian extraction which helps for starters but don’t come to me afterwards and tout a player by how many individual awards he’s won, because clearly don’t matter.