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Ballon d’Or 2010 - Messi, Xavi or Iniesta?…and the winner is: Lionel Messi

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ZURICH SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 10:  Lionel Messi of Argentina arrives at the FIFA Ballon d'or Gala at the Zurich Kongresshaus on January 10 2011 in Zurich Switzerland.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
ZURICH SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 10: Lionel Messi of Argentina arrives at the FIFA Ballon d'or Gala at the Zurich Kongresshaus on January 10 2011 in Zurich Switzerland. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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Though I might’ve written an article arguing why Messi should win football’s most prestigious individual prize I feel kind of saddened that La Pulga has won it yet again. Lionel Messi is without a doubt the best player of his generation but in 2010 some others were more deserving recipients’ of this accolade. This year’s ceremony broke the recent trend of awarding the Ballon d’Or to a World Cup winner. In 2006 Fabio Cannavaro won the award for his superhuman displays at the World Cup.

At the 2006 World Cup, Cannavaro was quite simply flawless but so were a couple of his teammates. Even Marco Materazzi had an outstanding tournament. After his 2006 World Cup heroics, the Ballon d’Or recipient went on a dramatic decline. Xavi has been outstanding for the last couple of years; it is him that makes Spain and FC Barcelona tick. With him pulling all the strings in midfield, Spain as well as Barca won everything there is to win in ALL of world football.

In a couple of weeks Xavi will be 31, his chances of ever winning the Ballon d’Or have vanished, for good. He has won all there is to win, achieved everything that can be achieved yet he’ll probably end his career without ever having won the individual accolades, he more than any other, deserves. Again, anytime Lionel Messi wins an award it will not be without any merit or justification but in 2010 I just feel that he wasn’t that deserving.

However, Lionel Messi will become the first back-to-back winner of the Ballon d’Or of the new millennium. Judging by this years’ award ceremony only a title-less season will prevent him from repeating Michel Platini’s feat of winning the Ballon d’Or three times in a row. The difference between a possible if not likely third Ballon d’Or of La Pulga and Platini’s achievement – until 1995 it was impossible for non-EU foreigners to win the coveted prize.

The point I’m trying to get across is that during the 80’s Platini was in a class all by himself. I wonder if he would’ve won three Ballon d’Or’s if Maradona had been eligible for the award. In any case, Lionel Messi is once again officially crowned the best player in the world. I had an absolute blast watching Cristiano Ronaldo’s face when it was announced that the (male) winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or player would be broadcasted next, priceless.

Playing alongside Lionel Messi is a double-edged sword. La Pulga will help your team win but there’s absolutely no chance you will shine next to him; while Xavi, Iniesta and company are football superstars, little Lionel just happen to be a Supernova. If Xavi or Iniesta played for any other team they might’ve won the award since it is them who contribute a whole lot to Messi’s individual accomplishments. Nevertheless, a Barca player has once again won the award, that’s all that matters.

Messi FIFA Ballon D'or 2010

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