26 Dec 2012


This title rang in my head after a discourse with a friend who's also an ardent soccer fan. We had talked about almost anything in football in 2012 and the lawyer in me reared its head when I asked curiously, 'Segun, who do you support for the 2012 Balon d'Or?' As if he knew my mind, he sighed and paused a little and then put a hand on my shoulder, 'Kunmi, I vote for football', he exhaled.
I knew my friend enough to see that he was in a fix as to a choice among Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta but for me I had no issue making up my mind right from the end of EURO 2012 and so I had to help his despair. This write-up is my opinion as regards the World Footballer of the Year 2012.
The Balon d'Or as we have come to know it, was put in place by a collaboration of FIFA and UEFA to identify and honour the most exceptional player in soccer all over the universe. However, over the years there have been some very controversial choices and indeed some outright 'daylight robberies' as we would note in 2010 the case of Wesley Sneijder of Inter Milan who was fantastic for both club and country at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Till date, no one can really explain what went wrong.
One very crucial point in the Sneijder saga was that it was a World Cup year and thus the stakes were higher at the mundial for whoever would emerge eventual winner. On the other hand was Club performance in which he picked up the Italian Scudetto and the prestigious UEFA Champions' League. At the end of the day, he wasn't even shortlisted among Top 3.
Let's get back to 2012. Andres Iniesta, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have had a wonderful year and though the Barcelona duo are having a super season, the Madridsta isn't to be slopped off. I take them individually and I hope we let sentiments aside for a while.

Any soccer fan who has watched this guy on top of his game would no doubt admit that he is World-class, playing from his traditional midfield role or even as an outside left (where I think I appreciate him more). His performance at the EURO 2012 tourney undisputedly handed him the Golden Ball and subsequent European Footballer award. On club level however, he's been instrumental to many goals scored but a problem is he only picked up a 'minor' trophy (Copa del Rey/King's Cup) this year. I would rate him 7.75 out of 10.

This guy continues to confound critics who believed he was overrated to have been purchased for €80million in 2009. The Real Madrid board sure know that they recouped thrice that amount in less than 3years! He might be on the low currently but his efforts of 2012 can't pass unnoticed. He was pure inspiration for the Madrid team that picked the La Liga trophy and Super Copa against a Barcelona side that was equally beaten in El Clasico courtesy of a CR7 strike. Portugal would not mention claims for semi-final berth in EURO 2012 if not for their Captain and he is even being pummeled for not taking his PK earlier in the game against Spain. I rate him 8 out of 10.

'Merciless' as I fondly call him, is in the year of his life! In November 2011, scientists had actually foretold that 2012 was going to be his peak and right now I can't agree any less. With record-shattering goals being banged often and mesmerizing skills not in shortage, this guy shows attributes of a ghost! Even after Zico said Gerd Muller's 85 goals weren't the highest in history, this guy has surpassed the 90 and who says he can't reach 95?! However, for all the goals, Messi has only a 'minor' Copa del Rey trophy in his cabinet this year. I rate him 7.5 out of 10.

If my ratings were to suffice, CR7 would grab the award but for what I know, Platini alone could go as far as influencing votes on behalf of either of the Barcelona duo. Spanish Press has also not made life fun for the Madrid guy and his personality caused that as he rightly admitted last month.

Personally, I am eternally grateful to God for the privilege of life to witness these guys play my favourite game and rather than look to spur more bitterness among soccer lovers all over the world, I choose to vote for...
JOGO BONITO, The Beautiful Game!


  1. I AV to agree wt the ratings and hope Ronaldo wins. Last year when he outscored Messi he was berated 4 winning only a minor copa Del Rey. Same is true 4 messi thi year and collective glory of winning la liga and going as far as semi-final wt POrtugal should swing things in his favour. But the politricks of football can be disappointing at times. May the best man win.

  2. Good words bro....but I tip CR7 for †he award!!!! But politics.........