Oct 10, 2007

FIFA World Player Of The Year: Handicapping The Field

FIFA came out with its shortlist of 30 players to compete for 2007 Player of The Year honors. While I don't personally care much for these things, I thought it might be interesting to handicap the pool of players by what I consider to be their chances of winning. I'm not going to do each one--too much work and not very interesting either--but instead figured it would be sufficient to divide the shortlist into three groups: those with a good chance of winning, those with an outside shot and players with (in my opinion) no chance in hell. So here goes:

Good chance:
Kaká, Nesta (by virtue of AC Milan winning the Champions League), Cannavaro (Real won the Spanish league, plus FIFA likes consistency and he won last year), Buffon (didn't he just win something? And he is dominant), Drogba (Chelsea won FA and League cups, he is in his prime and led the EPL in scoring in 06-07. Also the African Footballer of the Year)

Outside shot:
Gattuso, Pirlo (see Kaká, Nesta), Messi (intriguing, I'll admit. Perhaps even deserving. But too young), Cristiano Ronaldo (probably not yet, but I'll give him an outside shot after a very strong season), Deco, Ribéry, Ronaldinho, van Nistelroy (very outside shot for the Dutchman), Torres, Eto'o.

No chance in hell:
Tevez (after the saga at West Ham last year? Are you kidding?), Marquez (the only CONCACAF representative, though that won't help him any), Gerrard, Rooney, Terry, Lampard (all four too English), Cech (too Czech), Juninho (Lyon are crap), Riquelme (why is he even on this list?), Thuram, Viera (too old, both of 'em), Essien, Lahm (not sure if that means "lame" in German, but I don't see why he belongs on this list either).


  1. I know he doesn't have a chance, but how does Diego get left off the list? He received over 50% of the votes for Bundesliga player of the year. Yet other Bundesliga players get the nod over him? Doesn't make sense. If it does, I'd like to know your thoughts.

  2. I agree that Diego probably belongs that list. Especially if guys like Riquelme, Lahm and Essien are. As for why FIFA left him off, maybe they didn't want another Brazilian? Though even then they should have dropped Juninho instead...

  3. While Lahm might have been one of the better players in a bad Bayern Munich squad, he didn't play a season to justify a nomination. But this also holds true for a couple of other nominees on the list.

    And yes Lahm is the German word for lame and it can potentially be used in the same way as English speakers use lame, but it hardly ever happens, we most often use other words than lame to describe something that is lame.