“For the Ballon d’Or, the president of my country’s federation demanded me to vote for Cristiano Ronaldo in order to clean up the public image of Joseph Blatter, in the attempt of reciprocating the favor of having given us the possibility to host the 2022 World Cup.” With these words told to ESPN, Qatar‘s coach Al Zarraa Fahad opens up a scenario for a new potential scandal that, once again, directly involves FIFA and its president.
In reality, the controversies around this edition of the prestigious award had already started back in November. As a matter of fact, right when Franck Ribery appeared to be the main candidate for the title as the voting process had already ended, FIFA surprisingly decided to re-open the nominations, giving the Portuguese star a huge advantage, considering his great contemporaneous performances in the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden.
Moreover, what makes Fahad’s words even more believable is precisely the fact that Blatter really did need to clean up his figure in regard of Ronaldo, given that he was strongly criticized after mocking him in public and giving his clear preference to Lionel Messi over Real Madrid‘s idol.
Of course, as it always happens, every political decision has its own victims, who, as third parties, have to pay the negative consequences of unfair scenarios. In this case, it is no other than Ribery, who, quite frankly, should have won the award.
Unfortunately for him, however, he had the bad luck of deserving it in a time in which media influence has become much more important than the victories and successes in the field. Furthermore, given that today’s soccer has two of the most influential players in history, it is basically impossible for other professionals to even dream about winning the award.
For this reason, it is not a coincidence that, for the last six editions, the winners have only been Ronaldo and Messi. Nonetheless, in that same period of time, there have been many other players who have also provided many glorious moments to the soccer world, such as Andres Iniesta, Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder, Andrea Pirlo and many more.
In fact, all of them have been able to be great leaders for their respective teams in their respective successes and victories, just as much as both the Portuguese and Argentine stars. If anything, the only difference between them and these two is the high amount of goals they have been able to score in the last years.
However, considering that the Ballon d’Or is meant to prize the most decisive player of the year in their team’s victories, its standards should not entirely be based on the amount of goals scored because, quite frankly, these two concepts are not always correlated to each other. For this reason, in the year of the World Cup, the main hope will be for the winner nation to see its most representative leader be prized with the most prestigious individual award of all.