When you find out the award for last year’s best footballer on the planet is being contested by three players from the same team, it’s likely you’ll accuse FIFA of a fit up. Unfortunately for the circling English vultures last night’s FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremony was not a fit up.
Barcelona are currently tearing world football a new one as if they were the Harlem Globetrotters. There are as many as five or six players from that team who could be nominated and the best of their side were at the ceremony yesterday evening. The winner was perhaps the surprising part.
Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta were instrumental in winning the World Cup with Spain and one of the diminutive Spaniards was expected to take the award. This wasn’t the case as the equally pint-sized Leo Messi won the award for the second consecutive time due to his all-round greatness for the blaugrana.
To do all this by the age of 23 is astounding in itself and you wouldn’t put it past the little man making it three in a row. Barcelona look like they could sweep every trophy available to them this season and it would then be very likely that he follows in the footsteps of UEFA head Michel Platini becoming the second man ever to win it three times on the trot.
Coach of the year went to Mr Smug himself, Jose Mourinho, after he was the only man able to break Barcelona’s stranglehold last season by winning the Champions League with Inter Milan. This season his new side, Real Madrid, could be the only side that have any chance of breaking the continued Catalan dominance along with his pantomime villain Cristiano Ronaldo.