First of all, while I doubt this will ever reach him, congratulations to Lionel Messi on his fourth (consecutive) Ballon D’or award. This is an incredible achievement for the man that was so small at age 14 that he had to take growth enhancement pills. At that stage even the notion of this guy becoming a professional footballer was in doubt, despite his obvious skill and determination. I am very happy for him, but were all of those four Ballon D’or’s really deserved? To be perfectly honest, whether this may anger some people or not, I would seriously question whether he deserved his 2010 award and not as much but still I don’t know if he was such an obvious winner this year. Was he the best player in the world in this year? This award shouldn’t be a question of whether he’s the best player ever, which is probably, I am told, the case. Yes, I hear you, 91 goals in all competitions in 2012, the most officially recognised by FIFA ever. But still, I will just throw a few names out there and really properly consider were these players actually that far behind Messi? Robin Van Persie, Didier Drogba, Demba Ba, Leighton Baines Luis Suarez, Juan Mata, Philip Lahm, Radamel Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and all those names are not even considering the supposedly 2 best teams in the world. I was reading the top 23 players nominated in the race for the Ballon D’or award and was shocked that Iker Casillas and yes, Cristiano Ronaldo, were ahead of all these players, while only Ibrahimovic, Falcao, Drogba and Van Persie were in the top 10. It is a very hard decision, granted, but surely at least one of Suarez, Ba, Lahm, Mata came into your head when the list of the top 10 was released. and if not, why not now? Suarez has single-handedly kept Liverpool out of the relegation zone with his performances (literally no exaggeration). Mata has been immense under Di Matteo and Benitez and has really helped push Chelsea from where they were at the start of 2012 (which was not a good position) to where they were in May, where they were when this new ‘revolution’ started in the summer. Lahm was undoubtedly Bayern Munchen’s best player in their Champions League camapaign, was I would argue Germany’s best player at the Euros and didn’t even make the top 10.
Moving on to the Team of the Year, well, where to start… I suppose the goalkeeper! in my opinion Joe Hart was better than Casillas. Dani Alves, I’m sorry to break it to anyone who thinks so, was not the best right back this year. The aforementioned Lahm would be my choice. I do not understand how Pique has won more votes than Hummels, he simply was not as good as Hummels. The left back is Marcelo, who definitely was not as good as Leighton Baines. He should be replaced by Baines, in my mind anyway. From here is where it gets very difficult. Who out of Xavi, Alonso, Iniesta, Falcao, Messi and Ronaldo deserves to make way for the likes of Ba, Suarez, Van Persie and Mata. The only way to settle this is to have a subs bench! Well, it was great to write my first post, hopefully the first of many. Keep calm and keep reading followers!