Article Written By: Oscar Quinones
The day had finally come when everybody would find out who would win the Ballon d’Or. Would it be Barcelona’s front man Lionel Messi? Would it be soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, or would it be the UEFA Champion Franck Ribery? Cristiano Ronaldo was the favorite but nobody ruled out Franck Ribery. Messi on the other hand was felt to be least likely due to his multiple injuries that made the young Barcelona star miss much of La Liga.
The ceremony commenced with the FIFPro World XI. The Goalkeeper selected for this dream team was Manuel Neur from Bayern Munch. The defense selected was Philipp Lahm from Bayern Munchen, Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid, Thiago Silva from Paris Saint Germain, and Dani Alves from Barcelona FC. Then came the midfielders that consisted of Andres Iniesta from Barcelona FC, Xavi also from Barcelona FC, and Franck Ribery from Bayern Munchen. Of course many didn’t have to guess about who would be selected. Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid was first to be named, then Zlatan Ibrahimnovic from Paris Saint Germain, and last but not least, Lionel Messi from Barcelona FC was selected to round out the group of forwards. Any head coach would dream of having this mighty team of players. Everything is perfect from the goalkeeper to the striker. No one could ask for a better team. Four men from Barcelona, three men from Bayern Munchen, two men from PSG and two men from Real Madrid. Truly capturing the best men of each of the four teams.
The awards continued by Joseph Blatter awarding Jacque Rosse the FIFA Presidential Award. Joseph Blatter had this to say about Jacque Rosse; “As a keen sportsman, this year’s winner knows all about the power that sport has to change lives and to inspire. Born in Belgium and educated in medicine, he found a home on the water as a yachtsman. He became an Olympian, representing Belgium at three Olympic Games. A strong love for rugby union also saw him capped for the Belgian national team.”
It was now time to promote the 2014 FIFA Brasil World Cup by bringing out to the stage Ronaldo and Neymar. Both of them glorifying why Brasil is a perfect place to have a World Cup. When asked what final they would like to see, Neymar responded Brazil versus Argentina, the classic rivals while Ronaldo would prefer to see Brazil and Germany dispute for the final once again.
A World Coaches for Female and Male Soccer. Silvia Neid won the award and had this to say upon receiving the award; “It is an incredible feeling to win this award. There are a lot of people who have been working with me behind the scenes. The team have been incredible the players, the backroom staff. Without their contribution I wouldn’t be standing here today.”
Former Bayern Munchen’s head coach Jupp Heynckes won the award for FIFA World Coach for male soccer. Upon receiving the award Heynckes had this to say “I’m tremendously thankful to be here to pick up this award today. It means a lot to pick up an award right at the end of my career. Normally in team sports it is often difficult to put things together like this. It isn’t just down to me this is down to the whole club, Bayern Munich, everybody that has been working with me during this period.”
After Pele gave a short speech it was time to award the FIFA Fair Play Award. The award went to the Afghanistan Football Federation after having a peaceful season and showing leadership on how fair play should be implemented in every season on every team. The Puskas Award was presented. The FIFA Puskas Award is given to the player who had preformed the best goal throughout the whole year. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was given the award for his amazing scissor-kick goal in an international friendly between Switzerland and England.
FIFA did something new this year by presenting a new award. The FIFA BALLON D’OR PRIX D’HONNEUR would honor a player that has impacted the sport of soccer like no other has. The award was given to the great Pele. A three time FIFA World Cup Champion, also playing four World Cups during his career, had a sum of 1281 goals in 1363 game. The award was also given due to the fact that when Pele was playing the Ballon d’Or was only awarded to European players. A very emotional Pele accepted the award and gave a short speech. “In the great sweep of history, there are few names that stand out. But when we think of football, there is one name that leaps out above all others. No player has had such an influence on the game. No one has inspired so many to play. His legacy speaks to us all. His verve and skill were timeless. His creativity limitless, his good nature boundless”, said Sepp Blatter of Pele.
Finally the moment had come to find out who would be the winner of the Ballon d’Or. Pele was the one who would announce the winner. Would it be Messi, Ribery or Ronaldo. A very emotional Cristiano Ronaldo went up to collect his golden ball. The Ronaldo we all saw today was not the typical Ronaldo we are used to seeing. A humble and very emotional Cristiano Ronaldo gave thanks to all and said, “First of all I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team. Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award. Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved.”
Now the question is, do you guys feel like Cristiano Ronaldo deserves the Ballon d’Or or do you guys think Ribery or Messi were more deserving? Although Cristiano Ronaldo had the most goals, Ribery had the most club cups during the season while Ronaldo had not won any for 2013. What do you guys think?