Did the wrong man win the Ballon d'Or?, many people have been asking this question ever since Fifa unveiled the 2010 winner of the most prestigious award in the history of game.
In a close contest, Messí got 22.65% of the votes from the captains, coaches and journalists from Fifa's national federations, ahead of his Barcelona’s teammates Andres Ineista and Xave Hernandez, bear in mind that the little Spanish magician Ineista was widely tipped as a favourite. In the end Andres Iniesta finished second with 17.36% and Xavi Hernandez got 16.48%.
There had been the widespread assumption. "Iniesta is the favourite," predicted the Barcelona-based sports daily El Mundo Deportivo on its front page on Monday. The rest of the Spanish media generally agreed, although public sentiment seemed to go with Xavi. A recent poll in the respected magazine Don Balon said 62% of the public thought Xavi should take the prize. Other polls last weekend broadly concurred.
Spaniards may feel hard done by, because Spain has lost all the global sports polls: the 2016 Olympic Games, the 2018 World Cup, the 2010 Ballon D'Or.". But Ballon D'Or voting quite different from awarding the World cup hosting, and then if somebody thinks that deciding factor should be wining trophies, then Netherlands and Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder should be the winner, but he didn’t make the final shortlist which was huge surprise.
Like in the past world Cup usually goes to decide who wins this award, which isn’t the right way to go. The criteria should be player performance and it seems in the end that the people went for individual level and right now Messi is a step above everyone else. If someone has the word “Why?” in mind, then let me show you some stats which is telling the whole story.
The little Argentine maestro completed an amazing 2009-10 season scoring 34 in 35 league games, and scored 47 goals in all competitions. I mean you can call it simply bad luck that he wasn't able to guide his national side to glory in South Africa at the World Cup, and failed to find the net as Argentina were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by Germany.
This season has seen the Argentine forward, for whom superlatives are simply running out; take his game to another level. So far he has another 18 goals and 12 assists in La Liga this season from just 15 games, and 28 goals in 26 matches all competitions. His current Barcelona record stands at 155 goals in 240 matches, and a further 15 goals in 53 matches for Argentina.
Above stats speaks for themselves, we’ve been witnessing the most gifted football player on the planet. Just like to quote South American football pundit Tim Vickery remarks after he watched Lionel Messi for the first time in South American under-20s championship. He was only 17 at the time, and even Argentina did not know much about him. Tim said
“There was a feeling that he had been selected to ensure that, if there was something special there, Argentina rather than Spain would be the long-term beneficiaries. Messi was not even given the number 10 shirt. Within a few minutes, though, it was apparent that we were dealing with something very special, and the rest is history”.