From the period of 2002 to 2009 The Ballon D’Or used to be an honest and fair award along with the Fifa Pro XI. However from 2010 to 2015 we have witnessed corruption and favoritism take place. The Fifa Pro XI has also been very, very unfair and it appears that if you play for Barcelona and Real Madrid, then you get a free pass to be in the team of the year or get the Ballon D’Or.
The question I would love to ask the Fifa Committee is when they award the nominations, which performance do they look at, do they look at the 2014/2015 season or the entire 2015 year, because if they look at the entire 2015 year then players like Eden Hazard, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos don’t deserve to receive nominations. If Fifa picks their nominations and player of the year based on 2014/2015 season then they should not say Ballon D’Or for 2015, they should rather say player of the year for 2014/2015 season.
In which years was the Ballon ‘Or awards unfair and unjust and which players were robbed?
2010 – Wesley Sneijder/Xavi/ Andres Iniesta
Not only did Messi not deserve to win this award, he wasn’t suppose to be in the top three in the first place. The man who deserved to be in the top three along with Xavi and Iniesta was none other than Wesley Sneijder. Sneijder had a ridiculous year with Inter Milan! He was involved in 20 goals (scoring eight and 12 assists) of Inter Milan’s goals which saw his team win the UEFA Champions League, Italian Serie A and Coppa Italia. He managed to take his form to the World Cup were he scored five goals and provided one assist for Holland. He was involved in 53.6% of Hollands goals at the World Cup, the team went all the way to the final but lost to Spain in Johannesburg. He finished 2010 on a high note as Inter Milan won the Club World Cup. Wesley deserved to be in the top three, should he have won the award? Looking at Iniesta and Xavi’s performance for 2010 it’s hard because they (Iniesta & Xavi) both had an excellent season with Barcelona, Xavi was a pass master and he was at the peak of his career. While Iniesta was very creative and dangerous as well scoring the winning goal which gave Spain the World Cup. All three players were at the peak of their careers, but I am afraid this award deserves to go to Iniesta or Xavi.
2013 – Frank Ribery
I am still trying to figure out just how on earth did Ribery not win this award. I mean in 2013 Ribery won everything that there is to win with FC Bayern and not to mention he was their most important player. Ribery tracked back, provided assists and scored goals for Bayern. In The semi finals of the UCL Ribery destroyed Barcelona along with Muller where he assisted in both legs, while in the final he assisted Robben’s goal which saw them lift the title. In the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea Ribery scored the equalizer as Bayern went on and won their fourth trophy in four months he also played a crucial role in France having to overcome a 2-0 deficit against Ukraine to qualify for the World Cup. This is an injustice in the world of football. How come when Messi won the treble in 2009 he won the award but when Ribery does it he wasn’t awarded?
2014 – Thomas Muller
I only have one question for Fifa and the entire world, which is how long will Thomas Muller be ignored? How long? Since 2009 Thomas has managed to stay consistent for Bayern, his form never dips or falls short, he always keeps it on 100. Cristiano Ronaldo definitely didn’t deserve to win this award ahead of Muller. Yes he scored a staggering 17 goals in the UCL which helped Real Madrid win La Decima. However his World Cup performance was very poor, and before people start coming up with things like Ronaldo couldn’t perform at the World Cup because his surrounded by so called ‘weak players’, as far as I am concerned Beto, Bruno Alves, Tiago, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao and Joao Moutinho weren’t weak, they are top players! And also what people need to remember is at the 1998 World Cup Croatia had a star player called Devor Suker who helped his team reach the semi finals. He was by far Croatia’s best player. In 2002 Turkey had Haken Suker who was instrumental in helping his team finish third at the World Cup, while in 2010 Diego Forlan also played a successful role in helping Uruguay finish fourth, all due respect to Cavani and Suarez but back than they weren’t as good as they are now.
Thomas Muller ended 2013/2014 season with 28 goals and 12 assists in all competitions for Bayern which saw them win Bundesliga and DFB Pokel. He went to the World Cup and finished as Germany’s top goal scorer with four goals and provided two assists which helped Germany win the World Cup. He also started the 2014/2015 season in excellent form. If you look at the history of this award who ever won the World Cup clearly went on and won the Ballon D’Or. In 2002 Zidane scored a stunning volley against Leverkusen which helped Madrid win the UCL however Ronaldo Dalima won the World Cup with Brazil so he went on and won the Ballon D’Or. In 2006 Ronaldinho helped Barcelona win the UCL however Fabio Cannavaro helped Italy win the World Cup so he won the Ballon D’Or. When did the requirements change? Now that Muller successfully wins the World Cup and arguably had a excellent 2014 he gets ignored and wasn’t even in the final three.
2015 – Luis Suarez
In 2015 we have seen how Luis Suarez has proven time and time again that whether it’s with the feet or teeth he’s deadly with both. He scored in crucial games against PSG provided assists against FC Bayern, scored in the UCL final against Juventus, as well against Bilbao in the Copa Del Ray final. When the 2015/2016 season kicked off Leo Messi got injured, journalists and fans claimed Barcelona’s season was over. However Luis Suarez had other ideas in mind, thanks to him Barcelona managed to finish top in their UCL group and he also destroyed Real Madrid in the El Clasico. Despite Messi being injured Luis still managed to keep Barcelona top of La Liga with the help of Neymar also. He scored five goals at Fifa Club World Cup which helped Barcelona lift the trophy and also made Suarez the first player ever to score five goals in the competition, and the first player to score a hattrick in the final. In the space of five months in 2015 Suarez managed to score 27 goals for Barcelona. He deserved to win the Ballon D’Or but unfortunately popularity wasn’t on his side.
Is the Ballon D’Or a popularity contest?
From the 2010 to 2015 it has been. It’s no longer about how good you are it’s about who you play for. If you play for Real Madrid or Barcelona then you have a 70 per cent chance of being in the team of the year. Players like Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Daniel Alves, Andres Iniesta and Luka Modric didn’t deserve to be in the world team of the year. It’s a complete injustice because to be honest Nacho Monreal, David Alaba, Ricardo Rodriguez, Diego Godin, Chiellini, Bonucci, Laurent Koscielny, Varane, Sergio Aurier, Juanfran, Claudio Marchisio, Thomas Muller and Marco Verrati were all better.
What should be done by Fifa?
Fifa should ban players and managers from voting because they will never vote for the players who truly deserve to win or who deserve to be in the Fifa Pro XI. They will rather vote for the players they like. Only journalists and pundits should vote because they will come up with the right and fair answers.
By Tuta Ilonga TFN Columnist on 25/02/2016 at 15:53