Earlier today Fifa announced the nominees for Male footballer of the year 2012. La Liga’s finest will be vying for the title of world player of the year 2012. Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.
Since October 2012, the panel have had the unenviable task of slimming down a 23 man list to the final 3. The initial list of nominees is below this article. With the likes of Robin Van Persie having an unbelievable 2011/2012 season with Arsenal, Didier Drogba’s roller coaster season with Chelsea (answering critics a goals in both the Carling Cup win and a dramatic late header into extra time topped off with a winning penalty), or Sergio Kun Aguero being instrumental in Man City winning the English premier league with a bag of goals, the last of which sealed the title for the sky blue Mancs, the task would never have been easy.
The selection of Ronaldo and Messi is not rocket science. The tantalising goal competition between both players in last years La Liga season left fans around the world in awe. Messi eventually scored 50 goals to finish La Ligas top goal scorer even though it was Ronaldos Real Madrid that won The league. Again, dispite Barcelona eventually being knocked out by the eventual winners of the UEFA champions league, Messi still finished the competition as top goal scorer with 14 goals. As he rose to stardom, comparisons were made with Maradona and Pele. As time goes on, it is not hard to see that we could easily be witnessing the greatest of all time.
After a record transfer move to one of the biggest clubs on the planet, only a few players in the history of football have been blue to justify their price tag with such speed and suave.
Ronaldo scored 80 goals in his first two seasons with Madrid. Some criticised his overall threat as a footballer. In response, in his first two seasons with Real he scored 58 goals with his right foot, 14 with his left foot and 8 with head. He ended this season with 46 goals making him the only player in La Liga history, or in any other major European league, to score at least 40 goals in two seasons. These feats helped him win La Liga player of the year and lift the league trophy for Madrid. Mourhinio once famously said if Messi is the best on the planet, Ronaldo is the best in the universe.
At one point I feared that Iniesta would be one of the most underrated players of all time and a wonderful thing called appreciation happened. Once Spain started winning competitions, it became easy to see that the quiet assassin was a key, the focal point of both the Spanish national team and La Liga. This hard work has earnt him best player at Euro 2012 and in the Champions league.
Though I feel RVP should have been part of this line up, it is hard to decide who you would remove from the list. Plus as he did not win silverware in the season his omission is understandable (this knowledge may be the reason why RVP made the unspoken rule of moving from Arsenal to Man U. Desperate men do desperate things. But that is another article Ll together!).
The only shame about all this is that God has given us a number of players who, if they were born in alternative eras, would easily be the best players of their generation. However we have to count our blessings. It could be worse. Or could it? Who knows……
One thing is for sure, if Messi (currently on 82 goals) overtakes Gerd Mullers record of most goals in a calendar year, 85, then there is little doubt that the little argentine with large talents will claim this prized accolade for an unpredidented fourth time….at only 25.
Player nominees: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City/Argentina), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid/Spain), Mario Balotelli (Manchester City/Italy), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus/Italy), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona/Spain), Iker Casillas (Real Madrid/Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Portugal), Didier Drogba (Shanghai Shenhua/Ivory Coast), Radamel Falcao (Atletico Madrid/Colombia), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St Germain/Sweden), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich/Germany), Neymar (Santos/Brazil), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid/Germany), Gerard Pique (Barcelona/Spain), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus/Italy), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United/England), Yaya Toure (Manchester City/Ivory Coast), Robin van Persie (Manchester United/Netherlands), Xavi (Barcelona/Spain)