Selecting the Ballon d’Or

Criteria for selecting the best players the world

World goal scoring record holder Lionel Messi

In choosing the next Ballon d’Or FIFA select a committee to vote, seemingly without giving these trusted few any direction on what they must judge a player on.

Therefore this suggests even the worlds governing body for football doesn’t know exactly what would you would deem the greatest when it comes to footballers (some might suggest that’s not all they don’t know).

And I’m not arrogant enough to suggest I know either. However I do think I have a good idea of what the options would be.

Goals per game must be on the list when picking the best player in the world. But that’s not the only stat available with organizations such as Opta about. Now we can literally compare like for like all over the pitch, whether it be distance covered, passes completed, tackles won,

But none of these are easily translated into effective football other than the figure in the assist and goals columns. I go to football to see my team win. Secondly, I want to see us play well, not to just tot up the passes complete column. For this reason I would take stats out of the top two things to look at. Of course goals and assists are important. But the other stats you can get on a player nowadays are just clouding the question – are they the best, most skillful, exciting player to watch play football? Surely that’s the players we go to see, not someone that may be 100% accurate with 10’0000 passes back to his keeper each game.

Skills on the pitch
This isn’t referring to tricks, but actual skills in beating an opponent and scoring goals. Think Best, Messi and Zola. The type of players that are a joy to watch. This is based on the way they play every time they have the ball, not one moment in the odd game (for those, see below).


Tricks on the pitch
We all can do the odd trick, some more than most, but I’d hazard a guess that most of us wouldn’t try half of them during an actual game. Some players such as George Best (who you’ll notice is in the above category too), Maradona, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho are great examples of those that try what they like whist on the pitch. this makes them great players, the inventors of the game and therefore this should be taken into account.


Doing their job
Few players have had a skill or move named after them, let alone an actual position such as The Makelele Role. Claude Makelele sat in front of the Chelsea back four during Mourinho’s years with such perfection and focus on the job in hand that what used to be called the forward sweeper or just defensive midfielder role, is now named after him. He knew what his job was and never got carried away with trying to get a little glory for himself by getting too far up the pitch (although he did get a couple of important goals, most notably at White Hart Lane).
Therefore a player so successfully fulfilling his duty must be a consideration when choosing the best player award.


Character / role model
Bobby Moore, David Beckham and Figo in Portugal for instance. these are great, great edge day players. But would or should they have have been given FIFA’s top individual honour? Each were over shadowed by more illustrious players in their day such as George Best, Pele, Zidane or Ronaldo (Brazilian & Portugal’s version). or getting that with today’s social moral views Bobby Moore probably wouldn’t be seen as the ideal role model, he was in the 60s & 70s, as are the other two now. it should this be taken into account when choosing the best player in the world?
This is a topical debate at present as players’ moral grounding is being bought into question more and more and they are expecting, often unfairly, to be beyond approach when it comes to behavior, they are criticized for not being in touch with the common man and vilified when they have a drink like the common man. My view is that we should get back to what happens on the itch, therefore how well behaved they are off it shouldn’t stop the, winning individual honors (as long as they’re not killing people!) or playing for their country. therefore I don’t think that someone that is the ideal citizen shouldn’t earn brownie points for that great characteristic when it comes to handing our awards for best player.


What’s your view….?


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