The FIFA Ballon d’Or is an award given annually to the male soccer player who is considered to have performed the best in the previous year, basically the MVP of all of the soccer world. It is awarded based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams, as well as journalists from around the world. Originally the award was for the best player in the European leagues. Then the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged into one in 2010.
A couple weeks ago, FIFA released the Final candidates for the award which included the following players:
(Player Name, National Team, Club Team)
Gareth Bale, Wales, Real Madrid
Karim Benzema, France, Real Madrid
Diego Costa, Spain, Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois, Belgium, Chelsea
Angel Di Maria, Argentina, Manchester United
Mario Gotze, Germany, Bayern Munich
Eden Hazard, Belgium, Chelsea
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden, Paris Saint-Germain
Andres Iniesta, Spain, Barcelona
Toni Kroos, Germany, Real Madrid
Philipp Lahm, Germany, Bayern Munich
Javier Mascherano, Argentina, Barcelona
Lionel Messi, Argentina, Barcelona
Thomas Muller, Germany, Bayern Munich
Manuel Neuer, Germany, Bayern Munich
Neymar, Brazil, Barcelona
Paul Pogba, France, Juventus
Sergio Ramos, Spain, Real Madrid
Arjen Robben, Netherlands, Bayern Munich
James Rodriguez, Colombia, Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal, Real Madrid
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany, Bayern Munich
Yaya Toure, Ivory Coast, Manchester City
Of these twenty three, three were announced as finalists yesterday and they are: Manuel Neuer (Germany, Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), and Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona).
Although these three players are more then qualified to win the award I am going to explain why Manuel Neuer should be the first goalkeeper to EVER receive the award.
To begin let’s look into why Neuer’s fellow finalist should not win.
We will start of with last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo is without a doubt the best field player in the world right now. In 2014 he has had 50 goals and 18 asissts in just 46 apperances for his club Real Madrid. Not to mention he led the team to a Champions League victory while breaking the Champions League scoring record in the process. Ronaldo seems like the perfect choice, does he not? Well that’s where your wrong. Ronaldo’s sole blemish on his 2014 record was the World Cup this past summer in Brazil. Though Ronaldo has almost completely carried his national side in these past few years his world cup performance was sub par. Ronaldo scored just one goal in Brazil as his poor Portugal side failed to qualify for the knockout stages. Ronaldo carried his Portugal into the World Cup in 2013 which basically was the clinching factor in him receiving the award last year. The expectations were high and Ronaldo failed to meet them. This alone is why Ronaldo won’t win the Ballon d’Or this year.
Next we will cover Lionel Messi. Messi is one of the best players ever to play the game, period. He also has won almost 3 Ballon d’Ors (not counting when it was FIFA Player of the Year Award). Messi had an amazing World Cup in Brazil leading his team to the final where they lost to Germany. This season for his club, FC Barcelona,Messi has been phenomenal. In the past weeks alone he has become the all-time leading scorer in both La Liga and the Champions League and he continues to torment defenders at home and abroad. Messi may have starred in the World Cup finals, the actual final itself was a bitter disappointment as he performed poorly in a loss to Germany. Add to all this the fact he has clearly been inferior to Ronaldo, in terms club play, across 2014, recording only 44 goals and 19 assists in his 48 appearances. Messi also didn’t win any titles (multiple tournaments and leagues) this season, something that would have surely boosted his chances. It is pretty clear that Messi won’t win another Ballon d’or this season.
Manuel Neuer should win the Ballon D’or. He is the undisputed starting goalkeeper for both for reigning world cup champions Germany and the German league titleholders Bayern Munich. He made numerous magnificent saves at the World Cup this summer to play a key role in his side’s title success and was deservedly awarded the adidas Golden Glove as the tournament’s best goalkeeper. Neuer also added two more medals to his collection in 2014 after winning the Bundesliga and DFB Cup double with his club. He does it all: shot-stopping, commanding his area, organizing the defense and even launching attacks with his feet. He does it better than anyone else. Neuer is just a beast. He is by far the best goalie in the world and at the same time is the best overall player. He has been amazing all year whether it was for club or country and therefore deserves the award over any other player in the world.
Feel free to comment below. I would love to hear your opinions as well. I will respond to them as soon as I can.