Is The World Player Award Losing Its Credibility?

The FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy is displayed

Controversial as it may sound, I just could not help but share my thoughts. Some might agree and some might not, but it’s all up to your own judgements. As we all know, from this year onwards, the FIFA World Player of The Year and the highly prestigious Ballon d’Or will be combined and rechristened the new FIFA Ballon d’Or award. I for one am relieved this has come about as we have had funny situations when it came to naming the best player in the World and Europe.

For instance, year 2004 saw Ronaldinho being installed as World Player of The Year but when it came to the European Footballer Award, he was in 3rd place behind Andriy Shevchenko and Thierry Henry. Now how the best in the world is only third best in Europe is quite baffling to be honest. Another reason why I feel this award is losing credibility is just about the way it is being handed out. Why can’t it be right at the end of the season? Why it has to wait until the end of the year? The main question would be how it is being judged? We are all aware that by the time the award is given out, around a quarter of a new season is already underway. By the look of it, the ongoing season seem to have an effect on the way the nominees are listed. The perfect example would be the case of Diego Milito who was simply outstanding last season but seems to suffer a mediocre start to the new season. Has this in any way affected his glaring omission from the list of nominees for this year’s award? Even Miroslav Klose (with 3 league goals only all season) is ahead of him.

No disrespect intended but this just shows how flawed the system is when it comes to nominating and awarding the best players throughout the season. I am of the belief that the winner should deserve it to begin with, and then should be judged for his performances of that particular season, not the season before or after. Rooney had a terrible World Cup, but so did Klose in terms of the entire season bar the World Cup. So does that mean he had a better season than Rooney? Thierry Henry was head and shoulders above everyone else in 2003 but the award eventually went to Zinedine Zidane who had a good but not spectacular season compared to Henry’s. Past winners have also come exclusively from Juventus, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Barcelona until Cristiano Ronaldo won it whilst a Manchester United player. There is also a feeling that the award is based on the performances of a single tournament (Ronaldo in 2002 and Cannavaro in 2006). Both the players above had brilliant World Cups but they were not really electrifying throughout the season. So this raises a question on whether the awarding of the title of the world’s best is done in a fair manner.

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