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Our World Player of the Year shortlist: Bebe, Beckham, Charisteas December 6, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in HalfVolley World Footballer of the Year Award.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I recently read that the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or contained Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Xavi. This news was so boring that it did not actually register in my brain. Further proof that FIFA is a garbage organization. I can think of nothing more mind-numbing than the idea of selecting among three outrageously talented and accomplished footballers who have won trophies in the world’s best leagues.

I am going to be giving out my own world player of the year award. I don’t know what to call it yet, but I’ll figure that out as I go along.

1. David Beckham — I read some article or heard some roundtable discussion in which it was said that someone’s North Dakota-based relative knew of David Beckham, but had never heard of soccer.

This can only mean that Beckham has actually gotten bigger than the world’s most popular sport. This is worrying for soccer. If it is not careful, something outrageous could happen. Sports channels could begin replacing soccer programming with live video feeds of the megacelebrity sleeping. Or possibly the sheer gravity of his personal fame will increase until soccer is drawn into its orbit and becomes little more than a satellite of Beckham.

I hear people arguing that having a good but not exceptional year for the Los Angeles Galaxy should not be considered anything like sufficient for being voted the world’s best player, but come on guys. We need to play the long game here. We’re talking about the survival of the sport. If soccer is really nice to Beckham, maybe he’ll be nice to soccer once he becomes fully aware of his omniscience.

Of course, maybe his gargantuan media profile will accidentally crush soccer like the insect that, in relative terms, it is, perhaps without even noticing it.

2. Angelos Charisteas — Look guys, Greece isn’t doing so hot at the moment. The people of Greece could really use a pick-me-up. Charisteas is probably the most popular player in Greece (somebody should check this), considering that he scored the goal that won them Euro 2004 and he has never played for Olympiakos or Panathinaikos. Sure, he’s only played 13 games at club level this year, and I’m pretty sure he’s only included in the Greek squad for sentimental value, but the award for Europe’s best performing footballer is about more than who happens to be performing the best at football. Just think of the feelgood factor.

3. Bebe — Obviously Bebe doesn’t deserve the award, but if this gong is to have any credibility, it needs to pick needless feuds with Sir Alex Ferguson. Plus, we’re no good at articulating our reasons for doing things. Not a problem. We could just duck and dodge until Ferguson is asked what he thinks of it. He would be of course forced to justify it — humiliatingly.

Then finally a Sun reporter tracks down Mike’s cellphone number (I will of course have told them Mike was the one that handled the award, although now that I’ve written this, that assertion will be difficult to make credibly). “So,” he’ll ask, “Why did you pick Bebe?”

“Have you talked to Sir Alex?” Mike will reply.

“I have,” the reporter will say.

“Well, what did he say?” Mike will ask.

“He said it was a recognition of the player’s potential and the quality of his contribution to Manchester United’s victory over Wolves in the League Cup. He said Bebe is definitely the best player in the world.”

Mike will snicker quietly and tell the reporter Ferguson stole this summary word-for-word from him. Cue feud. Cue denouncements. Cue readership.

Anyway, which of these options do you, the reader, think is best.



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