Messi or Ronaldo?
The winner of this year’s Ballon d'Or is widely expected to be one of these two players but some has been touting a new name for football’s most coveted individual award; German keeper Manuel Neuer.
Widely considered the best keeper in the world, if not in his generation, Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove (for best keeper) in the World Cup which Germany won. He is quick, agile, brave, confident and has good concentration. He was the main reason Germany won in Brazil.
Unfortunately he has no chance to win the Ballon d'Or.
He may be the best player in the world but he will not win and it is not just because of the regular bias for forwards. He won’t win because the Ballon d'Or is no longer about the best football player in the world; it is for the most popular football player in the world.
In a segment on the Ballon d'Or, CNN actually used Messi’s and Ronaldo’s Facebook hits as an indication on who would win the award! What does Facebook hits has to do with being the best player on the field? Totally nothing! However CNN is right in that popularity and name-recognition are now of vital importance in winning awards, so Facebook actually do matter nowadays. It’s an indication of how popular Messi and Ronaldo are.
In my view, this is ridiculous but there it is. Manuel Neuer would have my vote because he is the best player in the world in 2014, but I don’t expect him to win the Ballon d'Or. He’s not popular enough.