With the recent release of Ballon d’OR nominees and specially the display at The Best awards, it is getting evident that football is falling into the dark void of marketing. In this dark age of marketing and obscuring of the fans, “moments” are given the utmost prominence and performance is not a bar, tragically. Just look at the inclusions of Kasper Schmeichel in the top 3 Goalkeepers list and Yerry Mina in the defenders’ shortlist for Fifpro XI. It’s like they are selectively ignoring the performances in the domestic leagues and are glorifying that of the World Cup.
Although performances at the WC shouldn’t be ignored, each competition should get its fair emphasis. And consistency in a 38 (or so) matches tournament mustn’t be overlooked. The exclusion of Messi from The Best shows that such Awards are nothing but a farce.
Messi scored 34 goals winning the Golden Boot and assisted 12 times(joint-most) to help Barcelona win their 25th league campaign while remaining undefeated throughout the 37 games he played. Moreover, he even triumphed in aspects like chances created, key passes, take-ons completed and freekicks scored. Being the best in all the above variables, but somehow not worthy to be in “the best” shortlist.
Never, in the history of this beautiful game, has a single player influenced a game the way Lionel Messi has. And it’s an embarrassment to the sport that he wasn’t picked up. And now it’s time for football to get past this stupidly erroneous individual award which fail to honour the individual who had the best performance this year.
With everything said, if you watch Messi play, you know how incredibly superior he is to anyone who has played the game before. And as Bastian Schweinsteiger puts it beautifully, “the people that love Football know Messi is the Best “. So till the time Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini is playing football, drop everything and just enjoy him. Doesn’t matter if you support a different club, just absorb the spectacle. And there is no Individual Award which can do justice to him.
And it’s not even hard to analyse a player. Moreover, if you’re a so-called Football journalist who gets to vote in these Individual Awards, you must know it. And here it is, the only way to judge and experience a player is to just watch him play (Voila). But that might be troublesome for many. Because the only thing they closely do remote to football is just look at the scoreboard and very rarely, watch the highlights.
Each passing day, these individual awards are getting more farcical. Score a few goals in the knockout stage of the UCL, do some uncanny celebrations, and that will make you the best player in the world, well at least according to these “awards”. They are marketed and selectively manipulated to serve some egos, enforcing the propaganda which is fed to the blind supporters.
This is how moments are manipulating almost everyone in the footballing universe. And if it continues to degrade the realism from the sport, then Football will become limited to a display of just that, and its spirit will be lost.