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Half Volley Ballon d’Or nominee: Faty Papy December 11, 2011

Posted by Alex Tomchak Scott in African soccer, Burundian soccer, HalfVolley World Footballer of the Year Award, Turkish soccer.
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Burundi midfielder Faty Papy followed a familiar path to stardom. At 15, he was disastrously described as the “savior of Burundian football.” At 18, he was snapped up by a major European club (Trabzonspor). At 19, he was dumped in the Dutch second division on loan. At 20, he was released and set adrift. He returned to East Africa, where he failed spectacularly in the Rwandan league. He is now 21 and without a club.

When he signed for Trabzonspor, he was called “Zidane,” his Turkish Wikipedia profile probably says. His career’s pretty much just a rerun of the great Frenchman’s.

I’m normally against giving out awards to has-beens, just because the awards committee’s thinking something like, “If we don’t give Zinedine Zidane the Ballon d’Or at some point in his career, how can people take the Ballon d’Or seriously?” Obviously rubbish. Awards like the Ballon d’Or, even the Half Volley Ballon d’Or are inherently nonsense, and only become moreso when subjected to useless political concerns, worries about legacies and posterities.

Nevertheless, will people ever respect the Half Volley Ballon d’Or if we don’t give it to a great but declining player like 21-year-old Faty Papy at some point? Is that a risk we’re willing to take? It’s almost too late.

Name: Faty Papy.

Position: midfiedler

Nationality: Burundian

Club: None.