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Ballon D’or or Ballon Bore?

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The regrettable condition of Ballon D’or popularity.

FC Barcelona v Athletic Club - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

It is that time of the year again! The time of the year where we start talking about who has to win the Ballon D’or. Of course, when I say it is that time of the year again I don’t mean it literally. But now that every major football competition has run its course, we can safely assume we are going to start seeing more and more of these articles. I apologize to be one of the people responsible for the deluge.

This all started when I told my family and friends about being the new writer here at Barça Blaugranes. I was ecstatic! Writing in the blog of the team you love? Who gets to be that lucky? And, yeah, all my friends were happy for me and congratulating me, but there’s always that special group of friends you have that will always mess with you. So in less than five minutes all I was seeing was "CR7 is the best in the world, Messi sucks, CR7 is going to win the Ballon D’or, Barça sucks, you suck, yadda yadda yadda." I laughed, and they laughed, and it was all fun and games but it got me thinking…why should CR7 win the Ballon D’or? Many, many people will tell you that he should win because he won the Champions and the Euros. I strongly, wholeheartedly disagree.

It seems that nowadays cups and competitions are some weird form of credit accrual devices that you can later cash in for a shiny football with your name on it, regardless of your participation in obtaining those trophies. Let’s start with the Champions League. Yeah, Cristiano scored 16 goals. Let’s look at that, though. By match: 3 goals against Shakhtar Donetsk (2 from the penalty spot), 2 against Malmo, absolutely no goals against PSG, 2 vs. Shakhtar, 4 vs. Malmo, 2 vs. Roma (one in each home and away fixtures). So in typical Cristiano Ronaldo fashion, he scored a bunch of goals against mediocre teams with a sprinkle of the never absent penalty goals. I have to give him credit and say he did play a very important game in the match against Wolfsburg that put Real Madrid ahead in the tie on goal average. They went through to the final on an own goal, and he scored the quote unquote "decisive" penalty in the finals. So that’s one good game in the entire Champions league.

Ok. Let’s look at the Euros, now. Did nothing against Iceland, yet had the gall to get angry at them for celebrating the tie; did nothing against Austria, and in fact missed a penalty; scored 2 goals against Hungary in the tied game; did nothing against Croatia, and should’ve lost; nothing against Poland, went through on penalties; had a decent game against wales in which he scored a goal.

Now, here’s the part where I say that I genuinely felt sorry for the guy when he got injured at the beginning of the final. Deserved or not, it was his first final with his team and it was really sad when he had to leave the game. But should we give the Ballon D’or to a guy that had two, maybe three great games all year? Three games where he was essential in the victory and the success of his team? I don’t think that is enough to deserve possibly the greatest award in all of football. There are other players who deserve it more for the role they played in their team’s success. Griezmann was a game changer all year, for both club and country. Suarez had more season-changing goals than I care to count. Iniesta had an absolutely magical year. And, of course, one cannot forget about the absolute best player in the world, Lionel Messi, who led his team to the third consecutive final in the world’s most difficult tournaments. Regrettably, all people see is that fancy Undecima and Euro trophy.