The question on everyone’s lips now the season has resumed and the obligatory Clasicos are under way, is that of who out of Ronaldo or Messi should win the Ballon d’Or. It is pointless to even get into that debate, people are not going to be swayed either way from their opinion, yet one thing that is worth mentioning is that there is a man who has won it all, and he is not even on the shortlist.
It stands to reason for normal people that you would assume a player who has been at the very top of his game for the last ten years not to mention skippered club and country to literally everything and played a massive role along the way should be in contention for the biggest prize of all. Evidently not. The man I am talking about of course is the love of Spain’s life – San Iker Casillas, the only man who does not divide opinion when talking about the national team and who is considered to being close to God by all.
Yet again last week, Casillas showed how vital he is by making a crucial save in the Clasico and then setting up the move that resulted in the goal that kept his side alive – well that and Victor Valdes showing why he will never be Spain’s number one. Not to mention the fact that Casillas had a fantastic Euros and was vital in yet another penalty shoot-out.
If any other player in any other team in the world had made such a contribution they would be a shoo-in for the awards – in fact they would probably have one named after them. So why then is Casillas nowhere near the short list? Simply put, the fact that he is a goalkeeper is the sticking factor, with flair players always preferred for said awards – Fabio Cannavaro had to move heaven and earth in footballing terms to win the Ballon d’Or yet the list of defenders and keepers to win the award is not just a short one, it is virtually non-existent.
The bizarre fact that Casillas is constantly overlooked is even stranger when you consider just how big an impact a keeper can have on a game – they are crucial and can literally win the game for a side – so why then are they always ignored? Yes reigning holder Messi won just about everything domestically and most feel he deserved to win it last time around – but this season? He may have broken scoring records, yet only won the paltry Copa del Rey, whereas Casillas has been fantastic, won the league and Euros not to mention played a huge part in trying to get Madrid to the Champion’s League final, saving more than his fair share in the shoot-out.
It is said that to win the top awards you have to not only be a game winning player but also win the top prizes in football – clearly who ever said that was wrong. You have to be a forward.