Daily Mail

Ballon bore is vain festival of nothingnes­s


I DON’T care for individual awards in football. It’s a team sport. Player of the month, manager of the week, coach of the day. It means absolutely nothing to me.

This week it was the FIFA Best Awards (whatever they are) but nothing bores me more than the vainglorio­us festival of nothingnes­s called the Ballon d’Or. It’s a sham award designed only to polish football’s increasing­ly shiny view of itself.

If the list of winners wasn’t so predictabl­e, it would be funny. Lionel Messi has won it seven times, Cristiano Ronaldo five. Since it was first awarded in 1956, only two defenders have ever won it (the answer to that quiz question is on the right). How can that possibly be? Meanwhile, when Liverpool were conquering Europe in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Graeme Souness never once made the top three. When Manchester United won the treble in 1999, Roy Keane was nowhere near it. The goalscorer­s were there, though. Kevin Keegan, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Kenny Dalglish, Michel Platini during the Souness years. Ronaldo (the other one), Rivaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Michael Owen during Keane’s era. Great players but if the Ballon d’Or is only about goals and glamour then it should say so on the voting slips. And then I could pay even less attention to it than I do now.

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