Who Has The Highest Hat Trick In Football History Did Cristiano Ronaldo Deserve To Be World Player Of The Year 2014?

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Did Cristiano Ronaldo Deserve To Be World Player Of The Year 2014?

The recent awarding of the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or (World Player of the Year) to Cristiano Ronaldo proves that the award is more about politics and personal popularity than performance on the pitch.

Although players from several nationalities are nominated and win the award, they all always play for European clubs, while those active in other leagues, such as South America and Mexico, are generally overlooked. The best player is chosen by players and managers based on favoritism rather than merit, which often creates unworthy winners. With that, the award lost its recognition and became an object of fun and ridicule.

The Ballon d’Or was established by France Football magazine in 1956 to honor the history makers of the game. But that’s not what it turned out to be.

LA LIGA

Between 1 January and 31 December 2014 in this competition, Lionel Messi scored 35 goals in 36 matches (11 with his right foot, 23 with his left and another header) while Cristiano Ronaldo scored 38, but with less variety as they were only 4 goals. head and unfavorable left leg.

In addition, Messi created 97 chances, 24 more than any other player and completed 164 dribbles, 63 more than nearest rival Iker Muniain of Atletico Bilbao (MAILOnline – Why Lionel Messi should win the Ballon d’Or after a record-breaking year with Barcelona; author Kieran Gill, 12 January 2015).

EUROPE

Messi conquered the continent on November 25 when he became the all-time top scorer in the Champions League in Nicosia, Cyprus. It was his 23rd European city, his 16th European country and marked the 24th different stadium in which he scored (MAILOnline etc)

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2014

In football’s most important competition, Messi led Argentina to the final, was voted the best player in 4 games (the most of any player in the competition) and won the Golden Boot as the best player of the tournament.

He had the most impact on the competition. His goals were the winning goals that took Argentina to the final. He was joint third top scorer with 4 goals and 1 assist, created the most chances, had the most successful dribbles, made the most crosses in the box and produced the most balls of any player.

In contrast, Ronaldo was a non-factor and only scored a late goal against minnows Ghana and had an assist against the USA.

HISTORY MAKER

Messi’s performance in 2014 was what the Ballon d’Or is all about, namely, history-making performances. On March 16, he became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer (371). A week later he became the top scorer of El Clasico (matches between Real Madrid and Barcelona) (21) with a hat-trick.

He scored his 400th career goal on 27 September against Granada and surpassed a 59-year-old record to become La Liga’s all-time top scorer (253) on 22 November. Three days later, he overtook Raúl by scoring a hat-trick and became the top scorer in the history of the Champions League (74).

Given all these achievements, one might think that of the three nominees, Messi is the most deserving to win the award. Instead, he not only lost to Ronaldo, but he and fellow candidate Manuel Neuer combined received fewer votes (31.48%) than Ronaldo (37.66%).

In 2013, Ronaldo won nothing and Franck Ribery won everything, but Ronaldo still beat him.

How can all this be explained?

THE POLITICS BEHIND THE VOTING

FIFA criteria require national managers, captains and media officials to vote for the most outstanding player in the previous twelve months.

Not unexpectedly, players vote for their teammates and compatriots. For example, in the 2014 competition, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany) gave all three places to the Germans, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller.

Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid) voted for his former teammates Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois.

Vincent Kompany (Belgium) voted for teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard as the two best players in the world, while Arjen Robben is third.

The best example of politics in all of this is illustrated by Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) who, without giving any reason, stated that he regretted voting for Ronaldo instead of his teammate Neuer. This ‘change of mind’ can only be explained as coming from a player wanting to save face with his teammates in the dressing room, rather than a voter with any real conviction.

The same criticism applies to managers who only vote for national players. For example, the Argentine manager Gerardo Martino gave all three places to his compatriots namely Lionel Messi, Angel di Maria and Javier Mascherano, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots voted for the Belgian Thibaut Courtois for the third place, Didier Deschamps (France) gave the final place to the French striker Benzema and Dutchman Guus Hiddink paid the highest honor to compatriot Arjen Robben.

Players will get a lot of votes if they are popular ‘with the boys’ and can play in front of cameras to advertise commercial products. Those who defend the choice of Ronaldo as the best player point out that in the second half of 2014 he scored 32 goals. The problem is that 9 of those goals were penalties, so his non-penalty goals were 23, the same as Messi who had no penalties. Ronaldo was nicknamed “Penaldo” because of his mastery in drawing and scoring penalties.

In a World Cup year like 2014, your performance in that tournament is what defines you. On the world’s biggest stage, Ronaldo was a non-factor, and his supporters justify it by saying that he had an injury. If that’s true, it’s unfortunate, but an injury is a misfortune, not a privilege, and he can only be judged on actual performance, not speculation on what he might have achieved had he been fully fit.

The player of the year award has lost its authenticity. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s not a personality or school prom competition. It should recognize performance on the field. Perhaps FIFA officials should become referees themselves, pay more attention to non-European clubs and use criteria such as achievements and fair play to choose the winner. This would not be a perfect system, but it would be preferable to the current one which is deeply flawed and cannot be taken seriously.

Victor A. Dixon

January 18, 2015

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