The prize for the best player in the world has been dominated by Ronaldo and Messi since 2008, and people are already nominating Ronaldo for this year’s award. The goalscorers and superstars who are in the spotlight usually win the prize for best player, but what about other players who deserve the award but will never win it because of their position on the football pitch?

Goalkeepers, defenders and holding midfielders are less likely to be nominated for the most important individual award in football, the FIFA Ballon D’Or. Fabio Cannavaro was the last defender to win the award back in 2006 due to the successful defensive style of the Italians in the World Cup in Germany. Many believed in the chances of Iker Casillas back in 2008 after his brilliant performance in the Euro but he didn’t make it into the top three. Manuel Neuer broke the rule of always nominating spotlight players in 2014 when he made it in third place behind Ronaldo and Messi. But what about other superstars who will never have a chance of making the final shortlist for the award because they are not in the spotlight?

Winner of Ballon D’Or 2000: Luis Figo

First of all, there are no criteria for choosing the candidates for the award. Some of the voters take individual numbers and broken records and others vote based on the success of the player’s team during the previous season. Some other voters base their votes on a major tournament such as the World Cup although it takes one month out of a whole year of performances. But all of those voters or the most of them choose the superstar in the spotlight when they’re voting, and forget other players who make an exceptional effort to get that top scorer into the spotlight.

For example, whenever Real Madrid win the Champions League, Cristiano is strongly linked with the Ballon D’Or award. If Barcelona win, Messi will get the award. This team success is due to the efforts of the two superstars, but what about Modric, Ramos, Busquets and Iniesta?

Back in 2010, Inter Milan won the Champions League, their best player was Wesley Sneijder. Sneijder led Netherlands to the World Cup Final that same year. He also won the treble during Mourinho’s second year with Inter. On the other hand, Messi was the man with the most shots during the World Cup without scoring any goal when Argentina lost against Germany 4–0 in the Quarter Final. Messi won the award for best player in 2010. It was based on his performances for Barcelona. In Barcelona, Xavi and Iniesta were having one of their best seasons. They also were brilliant in Spain’s historic triumph in the World Cup, with Iniesta scoring the winning goal in the extra time in the Final. The spotlight of the goal and the extraordinary season wasn’t enough to win him best player of 2010. Every Barcelona success will be credited to Messi, Suarez and Neymar, and every Real Madrid success will be credited to Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema, only because they are the front three and they score the most goals.

In conclusion, players like Ronaldo, Messi, Suarez, Bale, Hazard, Aguero, Neymar and Griezmann will always be first to be nominated for best player depending on the team that succeeded in the past year and the amount of goals they scored. And you will never see the likes of Busquets, Neuer, Modric, Chiellini, Ramos, Boateng, Xavi, Iniesta and Sneijder being constantly on the final three stage.


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