Where FIFA and CAF are concerned, anything can happen when it comes to choosing the World or African Best Player of the year. That time of the year has come again.
In Zurich tonight the obvious or another night of egregious drama will play out when the gods of football assemble for the Ballon d’Or and other accolades.
Tonight for my money is Ronaldo’s. That is obvious and of course logical. I have heard and read frantic, in fact desperate attempts to push Manuel Neuer for an accolade he hardly deserve. Not even the Germans thought he was good enough to win the best player in Germany.
When the chips were down in Germany, Toni Kroos was voted the best player with 40.6 % followed closely by Klose with 38.7%. Manuel Neuer could only manage a third place with a disappointing 6.6%.
The verdict by the Germans only goes to show that individual awards are just what they are- individual awards- for the individual whose outstanding performance is peerless at least within a given period of time.
The Neuer fanatics are quick to chronicle the silverwares won by the German goal keeper for both club and country in the 2013-14 season.
But what they do not realise is that Toni Kroos has won more silverwares for both club and country within the same period.
In addition to the World Cup, which he won together with Neuer, the Real Madrid young enforcer has a Uefa Champions League, Super Cup, Copa Del Rey and only recently the World Club trophy [One can say that the World Club trophy was won after the period under review- November 2013 to November 2014.
But somehow Kroos has not been shortlisted in the final three best players in the World for 2014 and the reason is quite simple- he was fantastic.
But the Ballon d’Or title is not for the fantastic player. It is for the majestic. Neuer was also fantastic. He would probably have been a contender for the majesty if one player had not stood tall and imposing in 2014.
If Messi had achieved anything close to what Ronaldo did the season under review, the scripts would have been different because the Messi lovers are good at playing up the little achievements of the little gifted man.
Interestingly, Messi has nothing to show for it the year under review but for a controversial best player award he picked up at the 2014 World Cup.
Again like Neuer, the Argentinean is not best player for the South American country for the year 2014. Argentines voted Angel Di Maria the best player in Argentina for the year 2014.
Ronaldo had a stinker at the World Cup but only because the Portuguese team was ‘stinking’. No player in my mind and for my money can carry a team like the one Portugal took to the World Cup and hope to achieve anything meaningful for himself and for the country, especially when you are put in a group which eventually produced the World Champion.
To say Ronaldo had a magnificent year is an understatement. I will not dwell so much on the trophies he won. The role he played in winning those trophies is more important. Messi scored 14 Champions league goals in 2012 and it was supernatural. Ronaldo scores 17 in 2014 and it’s normal.
He was top scorer in the La liga, voted the best la liga player, the best attacker in la liga was the best European player, the Goal player of the year and the most beautiful goal in the year under review.
All that for one man, for one year and we say what? If football means anything to FIFA, when the Ballon d’OR is announced in some few hours it will be the Real Madrid and Portuguese star- Christiano Ronaldo.
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