Argentina National Football Team Vs Jamaica National Football Team Matches Did Cristiano Ronaldo Deserve To Be World Player Of The Year 2014?

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Did Cristiano Ronaldo Deserve To Be World Player Of The Year 2014?

The recent FIFA Ballon d’Or award 2014 (World Player of the Year) to Cristiano Ronaldo proves that the accolade has more to do with politics and personal popularity than performance on the pitch.

Although players of various nationalities are nominated for and win the award, they always all play for European clubs, while those active in other leagues, such as in South America and Mexico, are often overlooked. The best player is chosen by players and coaches based on favoritism rather than merit, often creating unworthy winners. Thus, the award has lost its recognition and has become the object of ridicule and ridicule.

The Ballon d’Or was established by a magazine called France Football in 1956 to recognize the creators of the game’s history. But that is not what it has turned out to be.

THE LEAGUE

Between January 1 and December 31, 2014, Lionel Messi scored 35 goals in 36 games in this competition (11 with his right foot, 23 with his left foot and another header) while Cristiano Ronaldo scored 38 but with less versatility since he only 4 were with unfavorable head and left foot.

In addition, Messi created 97 chances, 24 more than any other player and completed 164 dribbles, 63 more than Atlético Bilbao’s closest rival Iker Muniain (MAILOnline – Why Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d’Or after a record-breaking year with Barcelona; by Kieran Gill, January 12, 2015).

EUROPE

Messi conquered the continent on November 25 when he became the all-time top scorer in the Champions League in Nicosia, Cyprus. He was his 23rd European city, his 16th European country and he registered the 24th different stadium that he had scored (MAILOnline etc.)

WORLD CUP 2014

In football’s biggest competition, Messi led Argentina to the final, was voted Man of the Match in 4 games (the most of any player in the competition) and won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s best player.

He had the biggest impact on the competition. His goals were all game-winners that propelled Argentina to the final. He was the third joint top scorer with 4 goals and 1 assist, created the most chances, had the most successful dribbling runs, made the most deliveries into the box, and produced the most through balls of any player.

In contrast, Ronaldo was not a factor and only scored one late goal against tiny Ghana and had one assist against the USA.

STORY CREATOR

Messi’s performance in 2014 was what the Ballon d’Or is all about, that is, historic performances. On March 16, he became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer (371). A week later he became the top scorer in El Clásico (matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona) (21) with a hat-trick.

He scored the 400th goal of his career on September 27 against Granada and surpassed a record of 59 years to become LaLiga’s all-time top scorer (253) on November 22. Three days later he surpassed Raúl by scoring a hat-trick to become the top scorer in Champions League history (74).

Given all these achievements, one would think that of the three nominees, Messi was the most deserving of the award. Instead, he not only lost to Ronaldo, but he and the other nominee, Manuel Neuer, got fewer combined votes (31.48%) than Ronaldo (37.66%).

In 2013 Ronaldo didn’t win anything and Franck Ribery won everything but Ronaldo still beat him.

How can all this be explained?

POLITICS BEHIND THE VOTING

FIFA criteria require national coaches, captains and media officers to vote for the most outstanding player of the last twelve months.

No wonder players vote for their peers and compatriots. In the 2014 contest, for example, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) awarded the three places to the Germans Manuel Neuer, Phillip Lahm and Thomas Muller.

Diego Godín (Atlético de Madrid) voted for his former teammates Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois.

Vincent Kompany (Belgium) voted for his teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard as the two best players in the world with Arjen Robben third.

The best example of politics in all this is illustrated by Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) who stated without giving reason that he regretted having voted for Ronaldo instead of his teammate Neuer. This ‘change of mind’ can only be explained as coming from a player who wants to save face with his teammates in the locker room and not from a voter with any real conviction.

The same criticism applies to coaches who only vote for national players. For example, Argentina coach Gerardo Martino gave all three places to his compatriots, namely Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria and Javier Mascherano, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots voted for Belgian Thibaut Courtous for the third place, Didier Deschamps (France) gave the final place to French striker Benzema and Dutchman Guus Hiddink gave the top honor to his compatriot Arjen Robben.

Players will get a lot of votes if they are popular ‘with the guys’ and can play in front of the cameras to advertise commercial products. Those who defend the choice of Ronaldo as the best player point out that in the second half of 2014 he scored 32 goals. The problem is that 9 of those goals were from penalties, so his goals without penalties were 23, the same amount as Messi who did not have a penalty. Ronaldo is nicknamed “Penaldo” due to his mastery of drawing and scoring penalties.

In a World Cup year like 2014, your performance in that tournament is what defines you. On the world’s biggest stage, Ronaldo was not a factor and his supporters excuse him by saying that he was injured. If that’s true, he’s unlucky, but the injury is a misfortune, not a privilege, and he can only be judged by his actual performance and not by speculation about what he might have achieved had he been in top form. .

The Player of the Year award has lost its authenticity. But it does not have to be like that. It’s not a personality contest or school dance. It is supposed to recognize performance on the field. Perhaps FIFA officials should become judges, give more consideration to non-European clubs, and use criteria like achievement and fair play to pick the winner. This would not be a perfect system, but it would be preferable to the current one, which is deeply flawed and cannot be taken seriously.

Victor A. Dixon

January 18, 2015

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