Ballon D’or Short List: Glaring Omissions Tarnish Credibility of Awards

Ballon d Or award 600x455 Ballon Dor Short List: Glaring Omissions Tarnish Credibility of Awards

The Golden ball has released their shortlist of players of which one will be chosen as the undisputed best player for this past year. Yet, as it’s been the case for a couple of years now, the shortlist raised more questions than provided answers.

The list, which is chosen by France Football Magazine, has always had its critics although as of late, it has attracted more widespread criticism than ever before. Many people believed that last year’s edition should’ve been awarded to Wesley Sneijder who not only won the Champions League, but also made it to the World Cup final being the competition’s top scorer with five goals, only to miss out on this glorious feat by Andreas Iniesta’s goal.

To make things a bit worse, not only was he not included in the 23-list, he was not beaten to this award by one of his Spanish counterparts. Rather, it was Lionel Messi who –arguably- undeservedly won that award. For a player who didn’t win a major silverware in that particular season – La Liga apart- it came as an eyebrow-raising shock to see him among the final three nominees for the award, let alone ending up as the sole winner.

In a World Cup year, the tradition has been to award this trophy to a player who dazzled fans and opponents in that particular tournament as it’s considered the biggest stages of all. We’ve seen players like Ronaldinho in the past – who won all he could on a club level in 2006 – being beaten by a Fabio Cannavaro who did nothing but step it up on the biggest stages of all; the World Cup.

Well, that’s all in the past now. But one thing France Football could’ve done this year to redeem itself was launch the 23 player list based on merit, and once again, it failed miserably.

There seems to be some kind of a bias towards La Liga and in its players. No one argues against Messi deserving this year’s award –leading his Barcelona team to Champions League glory- or Spain’s players being the best in the world having been crowned with almost all silverware available for them, collectively at least. Individually, it’s been a completely different case however.

Starting with Cesc Fabregas who not only was injured for the most part of this year, but couldn’t lead his arsenal team to a simple Carling Cup victory has questioned the credibility of this award, raising questions on the basis for which players are selected. Players like Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Aguero, who have not had any silverware attached to their names, have arguably taken the place of other winners that simply can’t but wonder what more could they do to get selected. Ibrahimovic has aided his Milan team to their first league title since 2004 in his first year in black and red, while Falcão led his Porto team to Europa League glory beating the record of most goals scored in a single season -since Klinsmann held the honor- scoring 17 goals on his way to glory.

Edison Cavani and the under-rated Toto Di Natale have both –unexpectedly- fired their teams in the Champions League, ripping Italy’s nets consistently only for their efforts to go unnoticed. Bundesliga winners Borussia Dortmund haven’t been represented by a single player, while household names like Ribery and Robben –although expectedly- didn’t find space either. Mario Gomez’s consistency both with Germany and Bayern Munich have also been overlooked, along with the 16 goals he’s banged this season.

Turning our attention to the EPL, two players in the form of Tevez and Van Persie have undeservedly missed out. The former who topped the scoring charts in league action with 20 goals, also led his Manchester City team to their first silverware in 35 years, in the form of the FA Cup. Van Persie on the other hand, has scored 28 goals in his last 27 League matches to lift his Arsenal side among all the darkness that surrounded his club in the aftermath of selling Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

One could argue that the list can’t be compromised of attackers alone, yet when we fully analyze the list we find that defenders like Tiago Silva – Serie A’s best defender of late- and Vincent Kompany who has steadied Man City’s backline have been ignored in favor of Dani Alvez and Eric Abidal; two players who have added very little to a team composed of champions like Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta.

Whichever way you look at it, France Football and Fifa have a lot of justifying to do. Having overlooked players time and time again, it’s time for them to clarify the basis on which their lists are chosen or the Golden Ball continues its decline and its incredibility in the eyes of the football world as a whole.

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15 Responses to Ballon D’or Short List: Glaring Omissions Tarnish Credibility of Awards

  1. R says:

    Well, many great players missed the shortlist. But, majority in the
    world agree that Messi is the best. For those who win WC, they have
    WC as the reward. For those who win UCL, they have the cup as well.
    For the best player in those tournaments, they have chosen the
    golden ball receiver. It’s not about the competition or awards.
    It’s about skill and Messi is the best for few years already.

  2. R is stupid says:

    Its about skill? says the person who is afraid to even show his
    name. messi is greaaaat but the point is that sneijder deserved to
    win it last year how simple of a command is that for your tiny
    brain to undrestand. if only robben scored that goal we wouldve won
    the WC and sneijder would won it. think before speaking

    • Joe says:

      @R is stupid; the man guilty of committing the act that he himself
      commits: It’s unfortunate for the Dutch that they did not win the
      World Cup. You, taking claim as one of them, and being incapable of
      restricting emotional tie, void yourself further argument. You are
      a biased, angry poster, and you have chosen to attack another
      rather than argue sensibly for a cause. ‘Think’ next time, instead
      of just blurting out impassioned diatribes. And Sneijder didn’t
      deserve it more than Iniesta, or more than Messi or Ronaldo; each
      of whom took were dominant in their respective roles. R is right to
      say that the Balon d’Or is not about statistical domination, it’s
      about who is the best, and to a degree who the fans believe to be
      the best (hence the vote).

  3. Anthony B. says:

    I think the point is clear for everyone to see. Messi is the
    greatest player of this generation but that doesn’t guarantee him
    the award every year. AND la liga’s standard are shit and keep on
    getting worse how come the skillful Messi doesnt score in the World
    Cup or with Argentina. Don’t answer its Barcelona’s midfield.

  4. berriton says:

    fifa. best article ever and yes gomez is great hes the best striker
    in the wooooooooorllllldddddd. alvez is a saton

  5. antony says:

    I would like to sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for
    delivering this wise thorough peace of art. Finally someone is
    seeing the golden ball for all the shit it is. Including Sneijder
    this year as opposed to last year simply reflects how screwed up
    this award is.

  6. M.M. says:

    messi deserves this years award no doubt but no argueing they could
    do a better listing

  7. MILAN says:

    why is ibrahimovic out. he won leagues for 9 years now, what more.
    first year with milan he makes them win first legue in 7 years. and
    tiago silve. just like u said golden ball no value.

  8. Catalonic says:

    ohh so u have someone better than messi in mind?

  9. Sam says:

    well if its about skill and stats how can you argue ronaldo doesnt
    deserve it, he shattered the single season record for goals scored
    while playing for a “lesser” team than the great barca

  10. ed says:

    Ronaldo had the most goals in all competitions in the least amount
    of games 53 goals and even broke a la liga record for most goals in
    season in only his 2nd year there while Messi has benn in la liga
    since his tween years. Ronaldo does exactly the same thing as Messi
    but the haters won’t admit so he gets the short end of the stick.



  12. i dont know why fifa choosed the person who didn’t deserve to be
    the world best player. But i think and it is obvious that the fifa
    have interest.

  13. samy says:

    Van Persie is the best striker in the world. and still no place for
    him. abidal was in coz of pitty coz he was ill with a kidney tumor.
    still messi will always win coz france football love him and
    consider him the “Perfect” role model

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