Ballon d’Or polling; Misguided Friendship or Political Calculation?


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                   Happiness, thy name is Christiano Ronaldo !!!

What’s going on with the votes and voters of Ballon d’Or contest? Since the new rules, giving the right to vote to the national teams managers and captains, the least we can say, is that many votes are out of context and even more, this behaviour tainted the importance of this competition.

This has nothing to do with Ronaldo’s deserved win, but about friends or teammates, voting for players just out of empathy/nationality and certainly not on real merit. Here’s some of them:

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Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo, didn’t vote for each other; ok, it’s just “political” as both of them  were among the favorites, but  Ronaldo’s choice of three Madrid’s teammates (Ramos, Bale, Benzema) and Messi’s almost identical choice, for Barça’s Iniesta and Mascherano plus Argentine’s teammate, Di Maria, showed how much rules and fair-play was respected !

 

They weren’t the only ones; Vincent Kompany, (Belgium) gave the first place and the five points to Tibault Courtois (2. Hazard 3. Robben). Courtois for Ballon d’Or, seriously?

Many others did exactly the same: Colombia’s Captain, Radamel Falcao, voted for James Rodrigues  and Manchester’s United teammate, Di Maria; Sweden’s manager vote, was for Zlatan Ibrahimovic(of course!).

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France’s manager Didier Deschamps’ choice was Ronaldo-Neuer-Benzema and his Captain Hugo Lloris, Ronaldo-Benzema-Neuer. Benzema is a good player and he had a good year, but Ballon d’Or candidate, hhhmmm….

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There are only two french players on top: Tahiti’s journalist Paul Olivier’s choice was Paul Pogba(Juventus), while Karim Benzema was leading Djibouti’s choice.(!)

St Lucia’s national Manager’s choice? Mario Cötze, Diego Costa, James Rodriguez: did he see them playing, I wonder? All of them had some good results this year, but they aren’t Ballon d’Or material, or at least not yet.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was named three times; one from his own national manager, Erik Hamren and also by Montenegro’s Captain, Mirko Vucinic and Afganistan’s Manager, Yosuf Kargar.

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What about Emmanuel Neuer ? Goalkeepers are a special breed and they aren’t very often, serious Ballon d’Or candidates.The German candidate should/would expect some support from the rare GK Captains, but he didn’t get much help from his colleagues; on six possibly votes only four put him in third place( Lloris, France; Buffon, Italy;  Bravo, Chile; Berezovsky, Armenia) while Casillas(Spain) and Enyeama(Nigeria) forgot  all about him. Some days before the Ballon d’Or Ceremony Awards, Italy’s GK Luigi  Buffon, declared that “to win the trophy, a goalie must win the World Cup, plus four penalties series during the tournament; then they will feel obliged to give it to him” Italian humor? Certainly not; the Italian stopper was denied that honour, for even if he had won the World Cup 2006, he only had  won one  not four penalties series!(Final vs France)

 

This year again, there will be several debates about (or not) creating a special trophy, for goalkeepers. Let’s not forget that there’s only one GK who won the Ballon d’Or; Russia’s Lev Yachine, half a century ago! (1963)

Is there something to do about the voters, to make sure that their vote won’t be tainted by misguided feelings or political calculation ? Already, the national teams Captains, can’t vote for themselves; extending this restriction to not vote for their countrymen could be a solution, not perfect, but able to change some bizarre votes, don’t you think so ?

 

 



Categories: Analysis, opinion

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