The Eurovision Song-contest is well known for neighbouring nations voting for each other. The best part of it was Terry Wogan’s sarcasm throughout the voting process. But last night’s Ballon d’Or (and the last few) have shown that football’s most prestigious individual award is pretty much the same, if not identical.
Players and coaches alike voted for their friends and colleagues – most of the time not including any of the top three. Messi voted for Mascherano, Iniesta and Di Maria, Ronaldo voted for Ramos, Benzema and Bale. The same goes for others – Roy Hodgson voted for Mascherano, Lahm and Neuer. Bastien Schweinsteiger voted for three Germans. Vincent Kompany picked Courtois as his first choice. The list of jokes goes on and on…
The question is – how can the system be changed to avoid such things happening? My opinion is to have a pre-finals vote, knocking the 24 strong list (I think its 24) down to 5 or 6. That way nobody, like a lot did, can take the mick and just vote for their team-mates. It just showed the pettiness that exists within football.
The overall result was as such – Ronaldo got around 40%, Messi and Neuer got around 15% each and the rest of the 30% was split among many others such as Bale, Rodriguez and more. If it was a straight vote between the top 3, the result may have been different, or more dominated by Ronaldo – but the fact is there was only two choices – Messi or Ronaldo. Having 20 odd others in the mix diluted the occasion because a third of the votes were wasted on people that were never going to get near to the top 4/5.
Messi and Ronaldo both said kind words about each other during the event, but in the past two votes have not had each other in the top 3. So neither recognised the others’ achievements? The whole process stinks – not in a FIFA way, but just reminds me of the Eurovision Song Contest – there are a few that we all know one of which will win but