Ballon d’Or shortlist should give Premier League pause for thought

October 26, 2010

SOCCER-SPAIN/England performed well below expectation at the World Cup in South Africa and judging by the FIFA Ballon d’Or list announced on Tuesday the stock of the Premier League is not at its highest either.

Just three players from the league that likes to call itself the best in the world are on the list and it would be a huge surprise if any of them made it into the top three:

Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), Daniel Alves (Brazil, Barcelona), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon, Inter Milan), Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Arsenal), Diego Forlan (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana, Stade Rennes, then Sunderland), Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), Julio Cesar (Brazil, Inter Milan), Miroslav Klose (Germany, Bayern Munich), Philipp Lahm (Germany, Bayern Munich), Douglas Maicon (Brazil, Inter Milan), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), Thomas Mueller (Germany, Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Germany, Werder Bremen, then Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Spain, Barcelona), Arjen Robben (Netherlands, Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany, Bayern Munich), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands, Inter Milan), David Villa (Spain, Valencia, then Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Spain, Real Madrid), Xavi Hernandez (Spain, Barcelona)

Have a glance through the full list (in all its glory above) and you’ll see just Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas and Asamoah Gyan representing England’s Premier League, and the latter has barely figured for his new club Sunderland.

I doubt anyone in English football will be too worried by this, with the money from TV rights still rolling in, but perhaps they should be.

In terms of star quality La Liga makes the Premier League look strictly second division. Serie A, derided over the past few seasons, now boasts the European Cup holders and a resurgent AC Milan and even the Bundesliga has a healthier than usual representation thanks to the exploits of Champions League finalists Bayern Munich and Joachim Loew’s fearless Nationalmannschaft.

It was different, perhaps, when Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres and the like were being described as among the world’s finest but performances at the World Cup that were indifferent to poor have made those assessments look like so much hype.

The Premier League still commands enormous global appeal which translates into massive revenues for the clubs. That will continue for the foreseeable future but the fact that the most exciting players from the World Cup are all delighting audiences elsewhere should at least give the Premier League pause for thought.

(On the list itself, I guess the top three will come from Xavi, Iniesta, Sneijder, Ronaldo and Messi. Xavi would get my vote. How about you?)

PHOTO: Xavi (R) celebrates Andres Iniesta’s goal for Barcelona against Valencia during their la Liga match at the Nou Camp, October16, 2010. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

2 comments

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‘Xavi would get my vote.’
Same here with me. It’s about time.

I used to read that Italian football have always take pride in the Ballon d’Or. And why not, given of how over the years where there’s Serie A-based players who have won it. It does comfort me that the Serie A is not dead yet, judging by the Inter Milan players who have been nominated for the award.

I have always never believe what the marketing people (cough Sky Sports cough) always tell me about the Premier League. But having said that, it is a sign of the times and it is something the Premier League should be concerned about.

Posted by dy158 | Report as abusive

[...] of Premier League players on the FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist should get alarm bells ringing. Left field This entry was posted in Global News and tagged Ballon, d’Or, give, League, Pause, Premier, [...]

As Xavi won player of Euro 2008, Forlan won player of World Cup, Messi and Ronaldo have already won it, I would give it to Iniesta as he deserves some recognition (with Sneijder second).
Still strange Diego Milito, officially UEFA’s player of the last Champions League, isnt even on the shortlist. Ok he only started once for Argentina in South Africa but Inter team mates Julio Cesar and Maicon made little more impression in the WC.

Posted by MarkMeadows | Report as abusive

Ballon d’Or shortlist should give Premier League pause for thought…

England performed well below expectation at the World Cup in South Africa and judging by the FIFA Ballon d’Or list announced on Tuesday the stock of the Premier League is not at its highest either.Just three players from the league that likes to call…..