As we started to see yesterday, it is common for France Football to commit gross errors when delivering the Golden Ball, as happened in 2000 and 2001 where they deprived Zidane and Raúl of the award. Today we will analyze three more controversial examples where, again, it was awarded to those who clearly did not deserve it.
Ballon D'Or 2004.
This edition was one of the most equals of the millennium, because in that year there were several players who presented a decent level of Golden Ball. But unfortunately the prize that year went to the hands of the Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko, one of the best strikers in the decade but that clearly did not deserve it. That season AC Milan ended up taking the Serie A, which at that time was the best league in the world. However, they could not revalidate the UEFA Champions League title despite being practically destined to do so. Milan had the best roster in Europe, full of world stars. However, they ended up falling in the 4th of the Final against Deportivo La Coruña who ended up going up the tie in a historic match. To say that Milan lost that game is to fall short, Deportivo La Coruña literally violated the Italian team.
From the individual aspect, that was a good season for the Ukrainian who managed to take over Cappocannoniere, who distinguished him as the top scorer of the Serie A that season. But compared to the rest of Europe's strikers, I'm far from the 30 goals scored by Thierry Henry, who ended up winning the Golden Boot. Sheva's unfinished business that year was undoubtedly the Champions League, where he could not Avoid the elimination of his team. In general, Shevchenko had a good year, but it was clear that he was light years away from being the best soccer player of that 2004. Who deserved that Golden Ball?
With the permission of Deco and Thierry Henry, both making a huge season and to some extent it is a little unfair to stop recognizing, the best player of the year 2004 was a man named Ronaldinho Gaúcho. When we see that we are talking about bigger words, we understand why we should put aside Shevchenko, Deco and Henry. How many titles did Ronaldinho win that season? Zero, none. But when you do what Ronaldinho did that year, you do not need to win titles.
This was the first season of the Brazilian in Barcelona and, without doubt, the most spectacular. From the statistics, Ronaldinho managed to score 15 goals in 32 games in the league, very remarkable numbers for someone who is not a striker. But this surpasses the numbers: what Ronaldinho did in that year 2004 I have not seen him do to anyone else in the world. It was pure soccer, joy ... it was magic. That season 2003-2004 of Ronaldinho was, from my point of view, the most outstanding individual season of any footballer in the whole decade. He managed to get a Barcelona that had no aspirations of anything from the bottom of the table and placed him as a sub champion of La Liga. When you do the things that Ronaldinho did, the titles do not matter. Of course, then in 2005 he deservedly won the Golden Ball, but you could tell he was not the same. Therefore, it seemed a great injustice to stop rewarding this historic footballer in his best season as it was in 2004, the year in which Ronaldinho with his football changed the world forever.
Ballon D'Or 2006.
What can we say about the 2006 Golden Ball, a total embarrassment. One of the most controversial and controversial Gold Balls in history. On this occasion the winner was the Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro, captain of the Italian national team in Germany. It was very curious and unexpected that a defender was chosen as the best player in the world. It was not the first time that happened, since Franz Beckenbauer and Mathias Sammer had already achieved it before, but both players had an outstanding offensive vocation with which the Italian did not count. The problem was not in rewarding a defensive player, but in that clearly was not the best.
There is no doubt that what catapulted Cannavaro's candidacy was winning the World Cup with Italy. And what the Italian side did in the World Cup is indisputable, they showed a defensive solidity worthy of a world champion; in large part thanks to the superlative level of Cannavaro. Meanwhile, at the club level the Italian was crowned Serie A champion with Juventus (a championship that was stolen, by the way) Immediately a case of match-fixing by Juventus was demonstrated and its title was revoked) demonstrating a good level However, the year of Cannavaro at individual level was not extraordinary either to give the Golden Ball to a central defender. They say that for winning the World Cup he deserved it, but when we see that Cannavaro was not even the best player in the World Cup (a distinction that fell on Zidane), we realize that something is wrong. Moreover, some thought that Cannavaro was not even the best Italian player in that World Cup. In Italy there was a permanent debate where many argued that Buffon had a better World Cup than Cannavaro. To all this we must add that summer that the Italian became the most expensive defender in history after his transfer to Real Madrid, which as we saw in 2000 with Figo, also ends up influencing public opinion. Wherever he was seen, this Golden Ball was poorly delivered.
So who should win the 2006 Golden Ball? I have no doubt that in that year Thierry Henry was again denied his deserved Golden Ball. That year the Frenchman completed a spectacular season, the best in the world. With Arsenal they finished fourth in the Premier League, but made their best season at European level to reach the final of the UEFA Champions League. And if not for certain details in that final in Paris, Wenger's last great Arsenal could snatch that title from FC Barcelona. While with his national team he finished sub-champion of the World Cup after losing to Italy in the penalty shootout. Again, only details deprived Henry of being world champion for the second time.
From the individual, Henry completed a wonderful season where he demonstrated a spectacular level. He finished top scorer in the Premier League with 27 goals and if it is not because Luca Toni went crazy making goals with Fiorentina, the Frenchman could easily have won his third Golden Boot consecutively. In addition, he had an outstanding performance at the World Cup, where it was vital for France to reach the final. But the highlight of that year of Henry was his performance in Champions. The French had a phenomenal Champions where, in many sections, he had to throw the team on his shoulder and practically win the matches only. The rest was only responsible for throwing the ball and Henry saved them. Counting the individual and collective performance, I have no doubt that Thierry Henry should be the winner of the 2006 Golden Ball. In retrospect it is unfair and sad that a crack like Henry does not have one in his showcases, when he was on so many occasions so close to earn it.
Ballon D'Or 2010.
It sounds weird that we discuss a Golden Ball with Lionel Messi, but in this specific case it is necessary. The Argentine had a great season, but not at the level of his magnificent year 2009. With Barcelona he achieved revalidad the title of La Liga and Copa del Rey. He also ended up being crowned as Pichichi of that season and Golden Boot after scoring 32 goals. Up to this point the Rosario was having a fantastic year, worthy of the best player in the world. However, the World Cup in South Africa represented the great spot in 2010 of Messi. In this World Cup the Argentine had a very poor, terrible level. He could not do anything to avoid the humiliating win that Argentina received at the hands of Germany in the 4th Finals. Even with all this, the merits of Messi with Barcelona were enough to rise again with the Golden Ball. The problem is that there was a footballplayer who had a much more impressive year than him at the level of clubs and National Team.
And do not think that I'm referring to Xavi or Iniesta. To say that one of them two deserved the Golden Ball of that year is one of the biggest lies in the history of football. They are just a lot of stupid things. There was not a better soccer player in the world in 2010 than Wesley Sneijder. The Dutchman did everything to win the Golden Ball of that year. With the Inter won the sextet (Serie A, Coppa Italia, UEFA Champions League, Italian Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup) in the best year in the history of the neroazurra entity. On the other hand, Sneijder managed to complete a dream World Cup to reach the final with Netherland and be about to be crowned world champions. If Sneijder did not win that World Cup it is solely and exclusively due to Iker Casillas and Andrés Iniesta.
But not only are titles, the Dutch had an exceptional performance throughout the year. As soon as he arrived at Inter he took over the team. The Italians played at the pace that Sneijder played. From the statistic scored 8 goals and distributed 15 assists, but Sneijder's performance goes beyond the numbers, it was noted that he was the football leader. It marked the difference of notorious form when it was in the field. The club season ended and Sneijder changed the Neroazurra shirt for the oranje; but his football was still the same or more spectacular. Such was the performance of Sneijder in South Africa that was distinguished as the Silver Ball of the World Cup, only behind Forlán and his superlative World Cup. As we see Sneijder made more than enough merits at individual and collective level to win that Golden Ball. It is sad, not only the fact that it has been stolen, but want to put over it two other players who do not they reached the Dutchman's knees in that fantastic year of 2010.