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.

4 comments:

josemanes said...

I think that they got it right. As much as it would have been cool to see one of my countrymen get the award, I believe Messi is the most deserving. One could argue that he did get the results including a La Liga title, and two wins against Real Madrid in 2010 in which he played a major role. His la Liga goal total is staggering, averaging more than a goal per game. And during the 2 games against Real Madrid he showed his versatility as both a goal scorer in one and an assist man in the other. His World Cup performance is his only blemish. But I would argue that Maradona played a role in that: How can you omit 3 Champions league winning players (Cambiasso, Zanetti, and Samuel) from your team? I think that using Cambiasso would have allowed Messi to blossom in his true position which is attacking midfielder/striker, not midfielder who starts from a defensive position. Congrats Messi. You deserve it.

GFC said...

Good points Jose, I think that the selection choices made by Maradona were questionable. The fact he played basically 4 center backs across his back was questionable at best...

The fact he did not take any of the players you mentioned from Inter was also interesting. I would agree that pairing Cambiasso with Mascherano to "protect" Messi in the midfield might have made a difference. However the bottom line is that Maradonna took a strong squad to South Africa and they were given a correction by a young German squad. That still reflects on the players, such as Messi.

Like I said the fact Messi won the award is not a major surprise, based on his play and talent he is the best player in the world, but factor in results and I think that award should go to Iniesta!

philip said...

I think Messi is the best in the world but I do not think he had the best year. Got kicked out of the champions league and got killed against Germany.

GFC said...

There is no questioning Messi's footballing talent, but when it comes to the Ballon D'Or the trophy case does mean something...

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