Ronaldo has done it again and won Golden Shoe for the fourth time. More than any other player in the history of football. Suddenly his museum building antic makes more sense than ever .
Ronaldo may not be the best ever even with all the honors and trophies he has won in his illustrious career but he isn’t giving up that is for sure.
Golden shoe is an award that is awarded to the player who scores the most amount of goals in a given season amongst various top leagues of Europe. Ronaldo had to share with Luis Suarez last year so he worked a bit harder this year to make sure this one belonged to him only.
With that said, there can be little doubt about who will win the Ballon D’or come next year. It will be Lionel Messi. He will, in all likelihood, win it for the fifth time compared with Ronaldo’s three.
But here is why Golden Shoe makes more sense than Ballon D’or:
- Golden shoe isn’t an award that just goes ahead and declares someone the best single player in the world by applying some mysterious convoluted set of logic.
It is pretty straightforward and cuts right to the chase by implying that the award in no way recognizes the recipient as the best player on the planet. It only recognizes the most prolific scorer on the continent.
To me that sounds way more logical and sound for a team sport like football.
Ronaldo had to work hard to get all those goals he scored last season with Real Madrid and now he is being recognized for it. See, how uncomplicated and transparent that criteria is.
A definite tangible statistic lead Ronaldo to win the award. There can be no two arguments about whether he should have won it or not.
In fact, even before the award, everybody had an idea about who would win it because principle behind the award was smooth and intelligible.
Ballon D’or, on the other hand, is something of an enigma in the sense that it honors individual player with accolades that have nothing to do with their individual skill. It gives out the trophy to one single player for a whole team’s performance for the preceding year.
What that fundamentally means is that if you are a player who doesn’t play for the top five clubs in Europe, then the probability that you would win the Ballon D’or, ever in your life, is uncomfortably close to zero.
Thierry Henry is the prime example of why Ballon D’or is so ridiculously strange when it comes to crowning the best player in the world. Henry, an Arsenal legend, scored 30 plus goals in a league as tough as EPL for five consecutive seasons but never came close to even smelling the Ballon D’or.
Henry’s only fault (when in fact it should count as a bonus if FIFA actually wants to find out the player who performed the greatest the season before) was that he played for a club like Arsenal.
Now, Arsenal is a great club but when it comes to the big league, UEFA Champions League, it is indeed a minnow. Arsenal, by no mean, is ever a favorite to win EPL as well. It is amongst the contenders but the fact that it hasn’t won EPL for at least a decade now, puts it at the lower end of elite clubs in England.
Anyway, Henry got screwed because he didn’t play for a big enough club even though he scored goal after goal all as a result of his own work and a lethal right foot.
Messi on the other hand, though is a superb player, won it four times because he was able to help Barcelona win lots of trophies.
How a team winning lots of trophies leads to one of it’s players winning an individual prize is beyond me.
It would make more sense if FIFA just didn’t call it an award to recognize the single best player in the world. From past winners, it seems to be more like an award for the most marketable player who plays for the best team in Europe.
- One other reason why Golden Shoe makes more sense than Ballon D’or is the mere fact that in football there can be no single ‘best’ player in the world.
It’s a team sport. There are defenders, attacker, winger, wing backs, midfielders and goalkeepers amongst a host of other roles that players can play to contribute to their teams on the pitch.
Why Ballon D’or selects an attacker year after year no matter how much better defenders perform than attackers, is a simple rule of marketability. People like to score goals, see goals and meet people who score goals.
No one, at least in Europe, dreams of becoming a goalkeeper while growing up these days.
FIFA, clearly and rather cleverly, has observed this social trend and hence has always awarded the prize to an attack minded player except in a handful of exceptional cases. Like that of Cannavaro (Italian defender) who won it about a decade ago.
FIFA’s criteria for ranking individual players is mudly to say the least.
Even if we assume that FIFA tries its best and because of publicity reasons, only considers attacking players for the award, the rules of Ballon D’or are still a bit on the murky side.
Ronaldo scored more goals than Messi last year and played hundreds of minutes less than Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
Clearly, Messi wasn’t the attacker who contributed (in terms of goals since that is what attackers are supposed to do.) the most amongst all attackers in the world.
But Messi has already won four Ballon D’or (and he will definitely win his fifth in six months time) on the basis of Barcelona’s dominance in terms of winning silverware season after season.
How does FIFA ignore the contribution of the coach, the manager, the club, the other ten players and award a single (attacking, in overwhelming majority of the cases) player with that grand a title.
So either FIFA awards Ballon D’or on the basis of team achievements (which makes no sense since the award clearly reads ‘best player in the world’ not ‘best team in the world’) to a player or it awards them on individual achievements which, again, makes no sense because Messi wasn’t the player who achieved the most individually last season.
As a result, Ballon D’or makes about as much sense as mermaids or unicorns.
- Objectivity. You score ten goals and if no one has scored more than nine goals, you win.
That should be about as complex as individual awards should be as far as football in concerned. Subjective opinions on who might be the best player of all for any season, should be left to people who write for publications such as news,magazines or blogs.
In fact, Golden Shoe should introduce more awards on the criteria of most successful tackles or saves made or passes made.
Statistics don’t provide the true picture but it is the most objective one.
Ballon D’or appears to take no such measures to rank players.
Having coaches and football writers ‘vote’ for the best player in the world is about as broken a system as it gets.
Think about it. What if a player isn’t likeable by nature but is a great football player on the pitch. What if a player belongs to some country that isn’t politically favourable to the people that vote for the best player in the world.
There are just so many factors that go unaccounted for in this system of votes. Do coaches and managers have perfect memory or completely unbiased view of who might be the best player in the world?
Can it be ensured that ‘voters’ guarded against ‘halo effect’. Who gets to pick the writers who vote in the process and why?
And did I mention the fact that it isn’t really ‘the best player in the world’ award even if we ignore the broken system FIFA employs to rank players. It is more like ‘best attacking player in the world who plays for a team that has won Champions League and a major league title’ if that make sense.
Ballon D’or should be a team award as that would be the most sensible and fair case of all the other cases.
On the other hand, compared with Ballon D’or Golden Shoe is a more objective and understandable title simply because it makes no claims of who, it thinks, is the best player in the world either in attack or mid or defense and simply ranks players on the basis of a tangible relevant metric i.e goals scored.
If FIFA must do so, then it should first introduce awards for each position and honor the respective players like Ballon D’or is honored currently.
And change the ranking system from ‘managers, coaches, football writers’ to more along the lines of ‘goals scored, assists made, tackles made, interceptions’.