The Golden Ball
Photo Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

I go back to Plato’s The Republic. He says the majority will never select the best leader because the masses have wrong priorities. This fundamental flaw of masses, almost never to see the bigger picture and the low threshold required to instigate them in petty matters has been well used by leaders throughout the ages to both get and keep power.

The Ballon d’Or has become something of that matter. Not that Lionel Messi is not a worthy winner, but the potential of the system to choose a non-worthy winner when there are many equals, is questionable. So that is why the poise of a leader becomes as important as his manifesto. The delivery of the manner of his speech as powerful as his policies.

Where even the smile of a leader, such as that of the President of The United States, is scrutinized, and where a questionable candidate owing a major alliance to the small niche of rich almost became a winner tells you how politics works. Dirty.

The voting was a surprise. Really, the only debatable question to me was, Messi or Ronaldo, or did the understated but the really influential Iniesta deserve it. But we saw surprising votes. We saw votes for good players, but not least deserving to be the best. We saw votes for fellow countrymen, we saw votes for similar position holders, and we saw votes for club mates and ex club mates. I’d say it was a big ol’ farce, not the eventual winner but the system. 

I seriously doubt if Ronaldo will win it again, unless Messi has a major dip in form. Yes, he could have this year, but his narcisstic, childish, and self-propagating comments cannibalizes his chances. Humility comes from not mentioning the humility. Try telling the captain of Sri Lanka or New Cambodia that people dislike him because he looks handsome and drive the fast cars. Mittney might as well have not run if he came up with a statement that all Democrats disliked because they were poor and were envious of the rare meat steak and expensive wine that he could afford every dinner.

So as much as skill and talent and form is detrimental to the determination of who holds the big prize, the likeability and politics play as much as an important role. The opposition camp might have to play it dirty and sneak in a sophisticated escort to Messi’s room if he has a chance of losing in the near future.

Until then, we’ll see more records being broken, and the Argentinean’s name rightly or wrongly so etched to that trophy for a few years to come.

Author

He calls himself an expressionist. He also suffers from chronic palpitations owing to the repeated ingestion of double esspressos.

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