Paris: “We believe by winning the top award of world football every year, we have been killing the motivation of upcoming talents all across the world”, spoke Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo after the latter won his fourth FIFA Ballon d’Or in December 2016. Although Ronaldo is off in Japan with his teammates for the Club World Cup, he responded through his manager and spokesperson Jorge Mendes in Paris. Ronaldo is excited for his fourth win but feels media has always overrated his competition with Messi and he personally doesn’t believe in it. However he believes he has 30 million more followers on Facebook than Messi and that proves his superior popularity among football fans. We tried to contact Lionel Messi for his response to such a low followers count in the popular social media site, Facebook but he chose not to comment on it by calling it a “silly question”. Messi believes his matches to goals ratio is better than Ronaldo and when he becomes 31, he would have broken all the records of Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain.
Zinedine Zidane who currently manages Real Madrid, showed his happiness towards such an initiative taken by the two giants in current football world. While talking to our correspondent in Madrid he said, “I think both Messi and Ronaldo are beyond any awards now. They need to focus on their games and further entertain their fans across the globe for a lot many years.” Zidane who had played 155 matches for Real Madrid believes if FIFA decides to consider the request of Messi and Ronaldo then Sergio Ramos of his team has the highest possibility to win it next year and dismisses any scope of winning the award for his fellow French man Antoine Griezmann next year. We also tried to ask if the legendary midfielder of France, Zidane has watched “Befikre” shot in his homeland France but didn’t receive any response before going to the press. Luis Enrique, the current manager of Barcelona seemed not quite happy about this decision taken by Lionel Messi. Luis who has played for the Barcelona and the Los Blancos believe Messi is an icon and he must compete to set a benchmark for the youngsters who one day aspire to be like him. Luis has a different take on who would win the most prestigious award in Football world if both the playing legends withdraw from the competition next year. The Barca manager believes Luis Suarez, Neymar Jr., Andres Iniesta have more chances of winning it than Ramos.
Greg Clarke, the current chairman of the Football Association who has served the current English Premier League champion Leicester City FC. as the chairman and director, prior to joining FA was also present at the event. Mr. Clarke believes the award is rigged just like Bollywood award shows and that is the reason why only the players who play in Spain always win. He believes both Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City FC. had performed better than Cristiano and deserved the award more than anyone from La Liga clubs. Gianni Infantino, the current president of FIFA calls such comments “rubbish” and ignored our request to make any comments. However our representative met the ousted ex-FIFA president in Geneva to comment on whether FIFA Ballon d’Or is rigged. Mr. Blatter showed his displeasure towards Mr. Infantino and called him an absolute disgrace. The 80 year old Blatter who had served FIFA for 41 years suspects that Mr. Infantino is biased towards the Spanish clubs and requests an investigation on him.
FIFA had not revealed the players who ranked from 2nd to 5th position earlier but announced later after many requests and debates on European media. Anyway whoever wins the Ballon d’Or next year, we hope it goes to the most deserving player in the footballing world.