Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From The Master of Sports Pundit

My vote in FIFA Ballon d'Or

There were only three Malaysians involved in the FIFA Ballon d'Or voting process. K. Rajagobal as the national coach, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah as the national skipper and yours truly. Read  the votes details

In picking the top three, these were my comments to France Football's redaction director, Denis Chaumier,

My vote goes to Dutch maestro, Wesley Sneijder. Over the course of the 2009/2010 season, the script centred on Internazionale Milan’s march to the treble of UEFA Champions’ League, the Scudetto and Coppa Italia, an unprecedented feat in Italian football. And helping Inter re-write history was Sneijder.

Sneijder’s fine passing range, mastery in set-piece situations and nose for goals became the core element behind Inter’s successful season.

The icing on the cake was Sneijder’s role in the Dutch team that came agonisingly close to lifting the FIFA World Cup for the first time. Sneijder’s five goals were testimony to the impact he had on the team.

In the final analysis, Sneijder demonstrated David Villa’s marksmanship, Xavi’s composure and passing range while providing the Dutch a talismanic influence similar to the impact Diego Forlan had on Uruguay in the World Cup. That is why Sneijder is my pick as the inaugural winner of FIFA Ballon d’Or.

Leo Messi, the eventual winner, was not in my top three because he did not deliver in the tournaments that mattered most. Neither was Andres Iniesta in my shortlist simply because he was injured for the early part of the season. Xavi was my No 2, followed by Diego Forlan. Unlike Messi, Forlan plays for a less heralded team, both at club and country levels.

To me, the Ballon d'Or is a reward for the greatest achiever of the year. On media votes alone, Sneijder would have walked away with the golden ball.

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