Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Messi wins the Ballon D'Or...somewhat of a surprise
We all knew it would be someone from Barcelona...Messi, Iniesta and Xavi were all the finalists, but I thought a World Cup winner would take the Ballon D'Or. After the run Spain has been on the past few years I was certain that the award would go to either Iniesta or Xavi, but maybe because they are so closely associated for both club and country it is hard to give the award to one of the Spanish midfielders. The final vote seems to indicate this, with Messi getting just over 22% of the vote with Iniesta coming in at 17% and Xavi at 16% - remove one of the Spaniards from the final round and maybe the one remaining gets enough to surpass Messi's 22%.
So was the award undeserved by the Argentine? Absolutely not. Messi remains on top of his game for Barcelona. He is one of the most creative and dangerous attacking players the game has seen in a very long time. On pure current form and talent, it is hard to argue against Messi. The one negative for me was his performance at the World Cup. He did not score a goal. Yes he was vital for Argentina's early success playing the role of a traditional #10, distributing and pacing the game for Argentina. The only problem was the last image we saw of Messi and Argentina - being thoroughly dismantled by Germany. Le Balllon d'Or, during a world cup year, seems reserved for the player that carried his nation to a world title...even more so when that team won the European title 2 years prior and has been on an amazing international run.
On pure talent alone, Messi is deserving, but on results and talent Iniesta should have won the award.