On top of the world

2016-12-27 09:00:00

Cristiano Ronaldo did it again; once more crowned the king of world football.
It is an award that divides opinion, usually between the camps of the Real Madrid superstar and his nemesis Lionel Messi; even though a few of us would have thrown Luis Suárez’s name in the mix.
So how was it such a landslide decision?
I can only suggest as neither this SUR column nor twenty years of commentating on La Liga qualifies me for a vote in the Ballon D’Or.
Previously the wise men (although there may be ladies, it’s not clear) were drawn from top coaches, captains of national teams and the media. This year is was restricted to an elite group of 173 journalists.
As they are elite journalists, I presume they don’t scramble for Bovril or bring their own sun-flower seeds to the games. These are the gentlemen of the press (and there may be ladies) who can pick and choose their games, like they pick and choose their Player of the Year.
Some of us have seen Lionel Messi produce magic week in and week out and may be swayed that way, others could vouch for the pure consistency and the reformed character of Luis Suárez in 2016.
The kingmakers, though, dine only at football’s finest table.
The majority will be at the Club World Championships this week where Ronaldo is starring. They would also have been in the press box at the European Championships where the image of Cristiano Ronaldo leading Portugal to their first trophy is etched in their minds.
Ronaldo also gave the ‘lead writers’ a chance to unwrap the superlatives as he inspired Real Madrid to an eleventh reign as European Champions. His was the decisive penalty that would be in the first and last paragraph as they chroniced the historic game.
If you want to judge CR7 in goals then there is evidence there as well. At the last count he’d scored 49 goals in 53 games in the year 2016.
So that’s how the title as Ballon D’or Winner was acquired. He may not have been the bookies favourite but they didn’t get a vote. The fan votes on every media site came up with different outcomes but that didn’t count.
The players may think differently but their representation will apparently be taken into account with the new FIFA award which has been marketed as “The Best”. Apparently, this will unfold for the first time on 9 January in the footballing stronghold that is Zurich!
Cristiano Ronaldo may have won his fourth Ballon D’or but it’s not a given that he will be the inaugural FIFA winner.
I suspect it will be whoever brings the most glitz to the new ‘FIFA Best Awards’.
I await my invite.source surinenglish