Skip to main content

3 Players Who Deserve To Win The Ballon d'Or This Season


I get asked the following question far too often: 'Who will win the Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?'

 Let's be clear: Individual awards such as the Ballon d'Or are more of a publicity stunt than exact science and, as such, we shouldn't give them too much importance.

Football is a team game, which makes the job of choosing the 'best' player very ambiguous: Lionel Messi scored 73 goals for Barcelona last season, does that make him the best player? Could Andres Iniesta have won the 'Best Player Of Euro 2012' if he hadn't played around Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets or Xavi Hernandez? What else must Iker Casillas do to win the Ballon d'Or?

 It is virtually impossible to decide which player had the most influence on their teams. The criteria to explain why one player is better than the other isn't clear so giving a definite answer is impossible.

 Having said all of the above, here are 3 players who, in my opinion, would be deserved winners of the Ballon d'Or this season:

  Lionel Messi

lionel%20messi%20ballon%20dor%20barcelona%20wallpaper%20barcablog%20barca%20blog%20barcelona%20lionel%20messi%20ballon%20dor%20barcelona%20wallpaper%20barcablog%20barca%20blog%20barcelona.jpg

 I bet you are definitely not surprised that the Argentinian Genius made Top 3. It's obvious that a player who managed to beat all goalscoring records in a single season deserves the award. As I always say, numbers never lie: 73 goals, 29 assists in 60 appearances for Barcelona.

 Lionel Messi is such an influential player that he manages to attract attention from rivals and teammates alike. If you play against him, your mind should be prepared to expect the unexpected, you never know what the Little Wizard may come up with next. When La Pulga is on your side, your subconscious drives you to pass him the ball when games turn ugly, as if he had the magic key to open rival defenses.

 During 2012, Barcelona suffered from over-reliance on La Pulga, making our attack too predictable at times. As I explained in this previous article, Barcelona dropped only 2 points this season in the 25 league matches in which Messi scored but won only 3 of the 12 games in which Messi failed to find the net. While we would all love to see at least 6 players scoring over 20 goals per season, reality shows that Lionel Messi was able to take responsibility and cover the goalscoring gaps created by the poor return from players such as David Villa, Pedro or Alexis Sanchez.

 From an individual point of view though, it can't be denied: Lionel Messi is the most influential striker in world football, as his stats show. If being the best player in the world is about goals, determination and leading a club team forward, then Lionel Messi should lift the Ballon d'Or in 2012.

  Xavi Hernandez

xavi%20hernandez%20ballon%20dor%20barcelona%20wallpaper%20barcablog%20barca%20blog%20barcelona%20xavi%20hernandez%20ballon%20dor%20barcelona%20wallpaper%20barcablog%20barca%20blog%20barcelona.jpg

 Xavi Hernandez is one of those players every successful team needs. The Catalan Master is the leader behind the most successful Barcelona and Spain teams in history.

 Xavi represents everything that's great about the Blaugranas: Leadership, attacking essence, determination to improve, inspiration to others and love towards our colours. Promoted to the first team under Pep Guardiola's shadow, Xavi went on to surpass his master at club and nation level, reaching success beyond his wildest dreams.

 Wherever I go, people ask me about the Barcelona 'Pass and Move' philosophy - or, as we call it, tiki-taka possession football. For me, Xavi Hernandez is the true soul of our system, the true representation of the idea that sparked in Johan Cruyff's mind many years ago.

 Xavi explained: "Barcelona play attacking football. We are not speculative, we don't wait. We pressure, we want possession, we want to attack. Some teams can't or don't pass the ball. That's not football. We think quickly, look for spaces. That's what I do: look for spaces. All day. I'm always looking. All day, all day. Here? No. There? No. Space, space, space. I see the defender here, so I play it there. I see the space and pass"

 If being the best player in the world is about establishing a footballing style that has brought unprecedented success to club and country, then Xavi Hernandez should lift the Ballon d'Or in 2012.

  Iker Casillas

iker%20casillas%20xavi%20hernandez%20ballon%20dor%20barcelona%20wallpaper%20barcablog%20barca%20blog%20barcelona%20iker%20casillas%20xavi%20hernandez%20ballon%20dor%20barcelona%20wallpaper%20barcablog%20barca%20blog%20barcelona.jpg

 Yes, you read that right. And no, I'm not about to become a Real Madrid fan any time soon. However, I must admit that the part that Iker Casillas has played over the years while on international duty with Spain is beyond remarkable.

 If we analyse the list of Ballon d'Or winners over the years, we quickly realize that the last defensive player to win was Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 and the last goalkeeper, Lev Yashin in... wait for it... 1963!

 Historically, individual awards in football have been given to players who netted many goals. Sure, goals are the essence our game but the impact from more defensive players is crucial for shared success. A clear example: Who was more important to Real Madrid during the Galacticos era: Claude Makélélé or Raul Gonzalez? For me, it was definitely the Frenchman!

 Iker Casillas has been excellent for club and country for many years. While I still believe Victor Valdes is the best goalkeeper Barcelona could possibly have, I must admit that I admire the sense of security, professionalism and charisma that Iker transmits to his team whenever he puts those gloves on.

 Iker Casillas recently explained: "The Ballon d’Or should be won by the player most deserving. Clearly, goalkeepers are not well appreciated in this type of awards, but I think we have the same right to win the Ballon d’Or as any of the other players take the field in every game. Now they say that I can win it, but it's not something that I obsess over."

 If being the best player in the world is about excelling at your position over a continued number of years while leading the most successful national team in history, then Iker Casillas should lift the Ballon d'Or in 2012.

  barcelona%20camp%20nou%20fans%20tito%20vilanova%20barca%202012%202013%20barcelona%20camp%20nou%20fans%20tito%20vilanova%20barca%202012%202013%20barcelona%20camp%20nou%20fans%20tito%20vilanova%20barca%202012%202013.jpg

  Have Your Say 

 What did you think of this article?

 Who should win the 2012 Ballon d'Or: Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez or Iker Casillas?

 Are there any other players who should have made my shortlist?

 Did I miss out on any important points you would like to share with us?

I welcome and appreciate all respectful feedback.

 Força Barça!!

 Posted by: Francesc Tomàs
Founder and columnist at www.barcablog.com

 Join our 28,200 followers on Facebook or Twitter

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Signing Paulinho for €40M is utter madness from Barcelona

Barcelona have signed Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande after paying €40 million for his transfer, as speculated in his release clause, according to multiple sources.

The Brazilian international midfielder, who would sign a four-year deal worth a reported €5M per season, would have completed a very unusual career path after being rejected by Tottenham Hotspurs in the English Premier League, then coming back to form in the Chinese Super League before landing at the Camp Nou at 29 years of age.

To say the signing of Paulinho is puzzling is a huge understatement. While it is disappointing to see the current Barcelona board struggling to bring world-class talent such as Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele to the Camp Nou, it is in fact much worse to see them having to pay the release clause of a player that has not been linked with any other major club in recent times.

Sure, it is clear that Paulinho has been a major contributor to the current leaders of the Chinese Super League but, h…

Philippe Coutinho's transfer request brings him closer to Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho has reportedly issued Liverpool with a transfer request, a move that can only be understood as the next step in his ongoing battle to join FC Barcelona during the current transfer window.

The Catalans are believed to have offered up to €100M for Coutinho but, given his importance within the Reds' squad, his current club has refused to allow his to leave for the current La Liga runners-up.

Both Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and club owners Fenway Sports Group have publicly explained that Coutinho will be part of the Liverpool squad for the upcoming season regardless of how much money Barcelona decide to offer to secure the Brazilian's services.

Coutinho, clearly unhappy about the latest developments, has decided to take matters a step further in a desperate attempt to agitate the current situation and force a transfer to the Camp Nou.

Personally, I believe that Coutinho would be a great addition to Barcelona given his undeniable quality, experience in a huge…

Will Dembele sign for Barcelona? El Clasico Supercopa preview and Bartomeu resignation [TBP 23]

The Barcelona Podcast duo consider whether the Barca board should continue to chase Ousmane Dembele despite Borussia Dortmund's refusal to sell the promising youngster. Francesc and Dan analyse Barca's preseason and preview the Supercopa Clasico against Real Madrid. The pair also discuss whether Josep Maria Bartomeu should resign given the recent developments off the pit. Episode 23 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Thank you for supporting us by reviewing our show on iTunes at itunes.apple.com/review?id1242126464

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or via your preferred podcast app.



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the…

Why Sergio Busquets' criticism of the Barcelona board is fully justified

Sergio Busquets is a player who prefers to stay away from the spotlight and do his talking on the pitch, ensuring Barca's engine continues to tick with his vision, positioning and charisma. However, in the rare occasions in which he decides to speak to the world's media, his words are loud and clear.

Following Barca's frustrating home defeat (1-3) against Real Madrid in the first leg of the SuperCopa, Busquets did not hesitate to demand much-needed new signings in order to reinforce the Blaugrana squad after the unexpected departure of Neymar:

"We try to improve the team regardless of the result of the Super Cup match. Those who come will be welcome. After Neymar's departure, we know that we need mostly offensive players, but we need to improve in all positions and aspects. With Neymar's departure evidently the team lost an attacking level, because you realise the footballer that is Neymar, there everyone will agree. About that we have Messi-dependence, in the…

Does signing Paulinho make any sense? SuperClasico analysis and prioritising La Masia [TBP 24]

The Barcelona Podcast duo consider whether signing Paulinho would actually add anything positive to the Barca squad. Francesc and Dan analyse Barca's performance against Real Madrid in the Supercopa Clasico. The pair also discuss whether Josep Maria Bartomeu's inefficiency is damaging La Masia beyond repair. Episode 24 of 'The Barcelona Podcast', brought to you by our friends at bettingtips4you.com, is finally here!

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or via your preferred podcast app.



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

We have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for you to watch hundreds of…

Barcelona Terror Attack Comment plus 'Will the #BartomeuDimiteYa campaign make a difference? SuperClasico shambles and Luis Suarez injury [TBP 25]'

The Barcelona Podcast duo consider whether the huge #BartomeuDimiteYa campaign on social media will actually change Barca's future. Francesc and Dan analyse Barca's terrible performance against Real Madrid in the Supercopa Clasico. The pair also discuss how the Blaugranas can respond to Luis Suarez's injury. Episode 25 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Thank you for supporting us by reviewing our show on iTunes at itunes.apple.com/review?id1242126464

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or via your preferred podcast app.



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

We have secured …

Is Gerard Deulofeu right for Barcelona? Paulinho, Arda Turan transfer rumours [TBP 11]

The Barcelona Podcast duo debate if Barcelona made a mistake resigning Gerard Deulofeu. Francesc and Dan also discuss the Paulinho transfer rumours and whether Arda Turan has done enough to remain at Barca next season. Episode 11 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

If you are new here, consider subscribing so that you never miss another update! You can listen on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud.

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

You can also listen to previous episodes here:

'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

Marco Reus, preferred transfer target for Barca fans | Barcelona News

Will Coutinho sign for Barcelona? Iñigo Martinez rumours and Arda Turan future [TBP 22]

The Barcelona Podcast duo consider whether the Barca board should go all out to bring Philippe Coutinho to the Camp Nou. Francesc and Dan focus on what Iñigo Martinez would add to the Blaugrana squad. The pair also discuss the reasons why offloading Arda Turan is becoming a much more difficult task than anticipated. Episode 22 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Thank you for supporting us by reviewing our show on iTunes at itunes.apple.com/review?id1242126464

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!
You can also listen to previous episodes of 'The Barcelona Podcast' on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or via your preferred podcast app.



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

We have secured an E…

OFFICIAL: Neymar is leaving Barcelona! Bartomeu talking nonsense and Samper future [TBP 20]

The Barcelona Podcast duo address the now OFFICIAL departure of Neymar to PSG. Francesc and Dan also try to make sense of Josep Maria Bartomeu's latest comments on Xavi, Andres Iniesta and La Masia. The pair also discuss whether Sergi Samper and Carles Aleñà have shown enough promise to become first team players this season. Episode 20 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

Thank you for supporting us by reviewing our show on iTunes at itunes.apple.com/review?id1242126464

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

As always, you can listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud or via your preferred podcast app.



'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

We have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for yo…