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The year’s biggest letdowns, starting with Quaresma
The year is coming to an end, which means it is time for football’s annual awards, including the mischievous top-of-the-flops variety.
In Italy listeners of Rai radio show Catersport voted Inter Milan’s 18.6-million-euro signing Ricardo Quaresma Serie A’s worst player of 2008.
With Cristiano Ronaldo winning the Ballon d’Or and favourite for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, there’s a nice symmetry about another Portuguese player taking a top booby prize.
It’s a spectacular showing in a way, as Quaresma has only been in Serie A since the close season, but still got almost twice as many votes as his nearest rival for the ‘Golden Bin’ gong, Atalanta’s former Italy striker Christian Vieri.
Catersport’s listeners may have been a tad harsh. Fellow winger Mancini has been equally anonymous since moving to Inter from AS Roma in July, while forward Adriano, the 2006 and 2007 Golden Bin winner, could have come further up than third after wasting another chance to get his career back on track with indiscipline.
Andriy Shevchenko, who came sixth, is still looking for his first Serie A goal since returning to AC Milan from Chelsea and he too may have deserved a higher ranking.
The people have spoken though, so let’s assume that Quaresma was Serie A’s top flop of the year. But if we looked further afield, who would be his competitors for the title of world football’s biggest letdown of 2008?
Chelsea’s John Terry for his miss in the Champions League final?
Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni for failing to live up to his billing for Italy at Euro 2008?
Who would get your Golden Bin?
PHOTO: Inter Milan’s Ricardo Quaresma controls the ball against Anorthosis during their Champions League match at San Siro, Oct. 22, 2008. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini