After a splendid year that saw Jose Mourinho, Wesley Sneijder and Inter Milan lift the UEFA champion’s league; Iniesta, Xavi and Spain lift the FIFA world cup; Athletico Madrid lift the Europa league, and then the UEFA super cup; Messi and Barcelona win the la liga; and Diego Forlan and Uruguay surprise the soccer world to reach the world cup semi finals, it was always going to be tough deciding who the best footballer in 2010 was.
Then came controversies with the release of the FIFA ballon d’or shortlists. One of the more popular ones being Diego Milito’s exclusion from the 23-man list that had Didier Drogba shortlisted. And then when the shortlist came down to 3 nominees, it had three guys from one club – Barcelona. ‘What on earth happened to Wesley Sneijder?’
That done, the world wondered and waited for January 10, 2011 – the FIFA Ballon d’or gala, to see who would be crowned king. Speculations, though, were that one of the two world cup winners in Xavi Hernandez and Andreas Iniesta it would be, but no, not Lionel Messi. ‘He’s probably the best, but common, he didn’t win the world cup…’
On the night, though, the FIFA Ballon d’or 2010 winner was Lionel Messi.
Unlike in years past where for every year, there was one stand out performer; like in 2005 we had a Ronaldinho that was the star of Barcelona’s successful season, in 2007 there was a Kaka that was the man behind AC Milan’s dominant year, in 2008, we had a Cristiano Ronaldo that was Manchester United’s star, And in 2009, Lionel Messi was the driving force in Barcelona’s all conquering side; 2010 saw many winners and many stars, and in the end, it was came down to this guy who, all while had kept at doing his thing. Sometimes discreetly, other times very obviously. But he remained Barcelona’s ace.
In the end, not too many doubt that Lionel Messi is the best footballer alive. Hail the king y’all!