Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ribery Unhappy on Ballon d' Or

The Ballon d’Or is nothing if not a lightning rod for controversy and year-long verbal sparring matches with inflatable gloves. Yes, some deserving players win it. Others not so deserving also win it. In short, it’s like nearly every other award handed out by any other organization in the world.

But perhaps worth the debate is to get inside the minds of the journalists who vote on the award through the actual point totals. A bunch of journalists who have pissed off Franck Ribery.The “shortlist” of 30 was whittled down to 26 because four players didn’t receive a single vote (nor a lovely parting gift, which is equally as cruel).
The points list:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Manchester Utd), 446 points
2. Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), 281 pts
3. Fernando Torres (Spain, Liverpool), 179 pts
4. Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), 133 pts
5. Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona), 97 pts
6. Andrei Arshavin (Russia, Zenit St Petersburg), 64 pts
7. David Villa (Spain, Valencia), 55 pts
8. Kaka (Brazil, Milan), 31 pts
9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Internazionale), 30 pts
10 Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), 28 pts
11. Marcos Senna (Spain, Villarreal),16 pts.
12. Emmanuel Adebayor (Togo, Arsenal), 12 pts.
13. Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), 11 pts.
14. Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Atletico Madrid), 10 pts.
15. Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), 8 pts.
16. Franck Ribery (France, Bayern Munich), 7 pts.
17. Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon, Barcelona), 6 pts.
18. Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), 5 pts.
19. Michael Ballack (Germany, Chelsea), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Arsenal), 4 pts.
21. Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), Sergio Ramos (Spain, Real Madrid), Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United), 3 pts.
24. Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands, Manchester United), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands, Real Madrid), 2 pts.
No votes: Karim Benzema (France, Lyon), Pepe (Portugal, Real Madrid), Luca Toni (Italy, Bayern Munich), Rafael van der Vaart (Netherlands, Real Madrid), Yuri Zhirkov (Russia, CSKA Moscow).

And this list doesn’t please Franck so much. And here what i said after the results :

Frankly, I am disappointed by my ranking. I should have deserved better. Last year, I finished seventh having played six months for Marseille and six months at Bayern, without having won any titles. Here, I am 16th in the list at the end of a massive season with Bayern. We were champions of Germany, won the national cup and reached the semi-finals of the Uefa Cup. I also picked up a number of individual awards, for example the best player in the Bundesliga. I achieved something amazing but you have to accept the verdict.”

Almost refreshing to see an athlete spout off at not being given his due credit for his individual performances. Almost. But the rank of Ribery at 16 is criminal, and really does nothing to help give this award any sort of credible legitimacy. He was an immense success at Bayern as far and away the best player for a team which cruised to the title and only lost 2 league games all year. Some even thought he was the deserving winner of the Ballon d’Or.

Even more, though, is that this reflects poorly on France, the country which produced France Football (duh), the award organizer. Only one with a vote and he comes in 16th place. Doesn’t appear there was any hometown rigging, does it? Which, I suppose, is one of the few good things we can say about the Ballon d’Or.
On my one side is really Ribery turned a non-story into sour grapes, in my opinion. the top 5 are SPOT on ha most probably - and some may cant really cares about the rest - do we think the sportswriters really started paying attention at no 15 or no 20 - and is there really a huge difference between 12 and 17, etc…

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