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Fifa World Player 2008


Guest Jeffery S.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins handily, followed by Messi, Torres, Kaká, and Xavi.

I was interested to see that Xavi got more 1st place votes than Torres or Kaká, but only interest from European coaches. And some prestige votes, like from Holland, Sweden, Serbia, Russia, Austria. From John Terry, England captain.

Our coach and captain voted the same, as did many it seems, as if they felt they had to agree and not seem to contradict each other. Stalteri and Mitchell picked the eventual top three in that order.

Of the 23 players getting any votes at all, 10 play in England, 8 in Spain, three in Italy, Ribery in Germany, and Arshavn. By nationality it is 6 Spaniards, three English, 2 from Argentina, 2 from Portugal, and just one from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo, France, Holland, Sweden and Russia. Big drop off for the Argentines and especially the Brazilians.

For me it is hard to think of someone who may have deserved votes and did not get any. Also think that Kaka is overrated considering the year he had. Appropriately, for those who saw him up close he did not rate. Only three of all his 1st and 2nd place votes came from Europe, while votes from Guam, Macau, Guyana, etc. I am not saying they don't know their football, but they tend to vote previous reputation more and don't follow the week to week of the top European sides as closely.

As a Barça fan pleased to see 4 of the top ten from our side. In case anyone hasn't noticed, some of the best football in the world is happening right here right now, if you haven't been paying attention you are missing some absolutely spectacular play. But mostly since the voting took place, so I don't think folks have voted in function of recent play. Like last night, or last week. In the 20 years I have been here I have only once seen such spectacular overall team play, the first months Romario was on the team. Now if we'd just had the good sense to have knocked Man utd out of Champions last spring we would have mopped up.

Boasting over. I think C. Ronaldo is a deserving winner and at least until May 2008 he was the dominant player in the world, and is still clearly an amazing player, even slightly off form. Since then Messi has probably been better. The most consistent player of all of them is Xavi, who is not spectacular, but always good, never has a bad day. And is scoring more this year than ever.

http://es.fifa.com/mm/document/classic/awards/99/15/29/resultsmenforfifa.com.pdf

http://es.fifa.com/mm/document/classic/awards/99/15/28/resultsmenforfifa.combyplayer.pdf

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by Blackdude

Did Semak vote for Arshavin?

He got votes from Dunga and Hyppia, and then a lot from former Soviet republics, including the Ukraine.

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The funniest guy is the Saint-Lucia captain, Germal Vacin. His first 2 votes were invalid. He wanted to vote for players from the powerhouse that is Saint-Lucia. If you don`t vote all 3 guys it`s cool, but don`t vote for your team if you know it will be rejected.

Other remarks: There are other invalid votes (probably players from the oountry

Rigobert Song probably voted for Eto`o

Sergey Semak probably voted for Arshavin

There is also the gaffer from Pakistan. His first vote was invalid.

I think it is because that way a player from Pakistan or Saint-Lucia doesn`t get votes.

Anyways, I don`t get it gaffers and captains vote for this? I wonder if some players would try to bribe the managers and captains of minnows. I`m sure it happened. I won`t name names but you know that who cares what the national team captain of American Samoa thinks about the World player of the year aside from. If you take him with 3 of his buddies, we could maybe score.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by dsqpr

So, Ronaldo wins. Integrity and good sportsmanship are clearly not amongst the criteria. He definitely deserves an award for taking cheating to a new level.

Go play checkers. Or marbles.

Whining about cheating is so childish. Anything that is against the rules and you do it anyways to get an advantage is cheating. A hard tackle for example, with not chance on the ball. That is cheating, and that is what 98% of the hacks that you probably admire can do, thousands of them out there.

There are only a few players with the quality of Cristiano Ronaldo, who I actually dislike, he bothers me. But for other reasons, for sporting rivalry.

If we let whiners like you run the game of soccer it would be a game of kicking each other in the shin and we could actually save money because you wouldn't need a ball.

Don't we have an age minimum to participate on these boards, anyone?

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What people forget is that this is a vote for the calendar year 2008, not for the 2007-2008 season. If it were for 07/08 I think Ronaldo should have won hands down. If you look at the calendar year, I'm not sure he should have been such a runaway winner.

His first half of 2008 was incredible where he capped off a magnificent season for ManU. His Euro 2008 was lackluster. He was then injured for the opening part of the EPL season. Only in the last month and a bit are we starting to see the old Ronaldo, and even then people are saying it is not up to the level of last season. (In any case, I still think he should have won.)

The one player I think that did not get enough 'respect' from the voters or the outcome is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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quote:Originally posted by masster

What people forget is that this is a vote for the calendar year 2008, not for the 2007-2008 season. If it were for 07/08 I think Ronaldo should have won hands down. If you look at the calendar year, I'm not sure he should have been such a runaway winner.

Not really. The award is essentially decided by the end of June every year. It is based on the 2007/8 season for the most part because (whether the voters admit it or not), they look at what the top contenders have won in terms of team trophies and those trophies are mostly from competitions that began in August/September 2007.

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quote:Originally posted by masster

The one player I think that did not get enough 'respect' from the voters or the outcome is Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

I think Arshavin should have gotten more votes as well. He was hurt by not playing in one of the Big 4 leagues but was the dominant player in both the UEFA Cup and EURO which should have counted for higher than 11th place. Afterwards he wanted a transfer and didn't get it and sulked and didn't play well for Zenit in the fall but as noted that didn't hurt Ronaldo. I lost a lot of respect for Arshavin because of this but I still think his performance in two major tournaments warranted better than 11th place.

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Guest Jeffery S.

The things that matter most in these votes are:

-winning something, or coming very close

-scoring goals

-past reputation

-marketing

-too many voters only watching the odd important game or the important tournaments

-objective quality of play

You cannot underestimate marketing, the major sponsors of players in fact lobby for their guys to keep their profiles up. Having an Adidas or Nike behind you is important.

As for objective quality of play, probably the most complete players in the entire list, including ball control, passing skills, dribble, vision of play, and an ability to score, total players, are Gerrard and Iniesta. But both Ronaldo and Messi have pretty good skills in those areas as well, no doubt.

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

I think Arshavin should have gotten more votes as well. He was hurt by not playing in one of the Big 4 leagues but was the dominant player in both the UEFA Cup and EURO which should have counted for higher than 11th place. Afterwards he wanted a transfer and didn't get it and sulked and didn't play well for Zenit in the fall but as noted that didn't hurt Ronaldo. I lost a lot of respect for Arshavin because of this but I still think his performance in two major tournaments warranted better than 11th place.

Arshavin = the most overrated player in football. He played two good games at Euro 2008, and a few in the UEFA Cup. He is a twenty-seven-year-old playing a weaker Russian League in which he isn't completley dominating, and Zenit just came off a fifth place finish. Modric had a few good games at Euro and was the leading goalscorer for Zagreb on their way to winning the league - are you saying he should be nominated for player of the year... no way.

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If you are going to comment on the Russian league you should at least watch it. If you had you would know that Arshavin has dominated the league for several years. He is somewhat of a cross between an attacking mid and a striker in that he sets up more goals than he scores though he also scores at a decent pace. The Russian league is not at the level of the big 4 but it is far from a weak league and far superior to the Croatian league. UEFA currently ranks it as the 6th best league in Europe behind France and that is where I would also rank it. It has definitely surpassed the Portugese and Dutch leagues in playing level.

Arshavin had more than a few good games in the UEFA Cup, he was arguably the best player in the tournament against many of the best teams in Europe. Pogrebnyak won the scoring title (tied with Toni) but it was Arshavin who set up most of his goals. Admittedly some of the UEFA Cup games did occur in 2006. Hiddink thought so much of Arshavin that he named him to the EURO team even though he was suspended for the first two games risking that Russia could have even been eliminated before he could play. When he did play he was outstanding. As I said, afterwards he wanted a transfer to a big 4 league and Zenit didn't need the money so bargained hard and he sulked and did a lot to destroy their team chemistry. The bad fall season could have taken him out of contention but then it should also have taken the also sulking award winner (who also had a poor Euro) out of contention. Modric by contrast had a good Euro but didn't do much else the rest of the year. The Croatian league truly is a weak league that is won every year by one of the two dominant teams the other teams being mostly target practice. Since Modric transferred to Tottenham he hasn't played very well at all. I am not saying that Arshavin should have won the player of the year but he should have finished higher than 11th.

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Guest Jeffery S.

Arshavin is not better than any of the players ahead of him, in my opinion. I am very happy Barça did not sign him. It would be like having another Gudjohnsen, and who needs that.

Now if he can prove his worth in a higher league, perfect, let's see it.

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He may not be a better player than any of those in front of him but that is not what the award is about. I do think he had a better season than a few of those before him though I guess that depends on how you rate things. It is true everyone on the list ahead of him has the advantage of playing on a bigger team in a bigger league. However, I think he showed he can play at this level in both the UEFA Cup and EURO. I do think Barca was not the right fit for him though. For him to do well a lot of the attack needs to be designed around him. He is better off being a dominant player on a good team than being a role player on a team full of stars.

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quote:Originally posted by Jeffrey S.

The things that matter most in these votes are:

-winning something, or coming very close

-scoring goals

-past reputation

-marketing

-too many voters only watching the odd important game or the important tournaments

-objective quality of play

You cannot underestimate marketing, the major sponsors of players in fact lobby for their guys to keep their profiles up. Having an Adidas or Nike behind you is important.

As for objective quality of play, probably the most complete players in the entire list, including ball control, passing skills, dribble, vision of play, and an ability to score, total players, are Gerrard and Iniesta. But both Ronaldo and Messi have pretty good skills in those areas as well, no doubt.

You don't think Xavi had a better year than Iniesta?

Arshavin is ranked fairly IMO. The biggest name missing from that list is Senna. The biggest joke on the list is Deco. I know he's only #23, but he shouldn't even be in the top 200. He rode the bench at Barca, did nothing in the Euros and has stunk for Chelsea.

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Guest Jeffery S.
quote:Originally posted by amacpher

You don't think Xavi had a better year than Iniesta?

Arshavin is ranked fairly IMO. The biggest name missing from that list is Senna. The biggest joke on the list is Deco. I know he's only #23, but he shouldn't even be in the top 200. He rode the bench at Barca, did nothing in the Euros and has stunk for Chelsea.

Senna was rated as the best holding mid in Spain and his Eurocup was spectacular. But it is not a position folks really appreciate too much, with exceptions (Viera, Makalele). I agree about Deco, he is talented and can be fun to watch, but also frustrating. I have my kid watch him for the futsal skills he uses. But not a good year for him (though you have to wonder, what would have happened if Barça had gotten past Man Utd in semis, it was a close match up, 1-0 aggregate; would just that have altered the entire voting?).

As for Xavi, well I am talking about pure skill. Xavi is someone who drives the team, moves the ball, looks for options, rarely loses it, gives Barça and Spain possession which is very important for any top side, since it means the rival has less time with the ball and less time to score. He also is subtle and intelligent, but not too flashy. Xavi has only started to score in the last year, literally. I think it is mental.

I don't rate his year lower than Iniesta's, but the latter can be more flashy and impressive, and his on the ball skills are superior. If you can get a chance to see Barça's second goal tonight you'll see them, the play is marvellous, see starting around 1:30.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq1ql-nCO9k

Similar the goal in the WC qualifier vs. Belgium, amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl403YYrh08&feature=related

This guy "retired" Ronaldinho.

NB: Watch what happens now for Spain with Cesc out for a long stretch, and a likely call up for Mikel Arteta. If Arteta sticks as a midfield option for Spain I predict something big from him in South Africa. How about a critical free kick like last week's putting them into semis?

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quote:Originally posted by Grizzly

If you are going to comment on the Russian league you should at least watch it. If you had you would know that Arshavin has dominated the league for several years. He is somewhat of a cross between an attacking mid and a striker in that he sets up more goals than he scores though he also scores at a decent pace. The Russian league is not at the level of the big 4 but it is far from a weak league and far superior to the Croatian league. UEFA currently ranks it as the 6th best league in Europe behind France and that is where I would also rank it. It has definitely surpassed the Portugese and Dutch leagues in playing level.

Arshavin had more than a few good games in the UEFA Cup, he was arguably the best player in the tournament against many of the best teams in Europe. Pogrebnyak won the scoring title (tied with Toni) but it was Arshavin who set up most of his goals. Admittedly some of the UEFA Cup games did occur in 2006. Hiddink thought so much of Arshavin that he named him to the EURO team even though he was suspended for the first two games risking that Russia could have even been eliminated before he could play. When he did play he was outstanding. As I said, afterwards he wanted a transfer to a big 4 league and Zenit didn't need the money so bargained hard and he sulked and did a lot to destroy their team chemistry. The bad fall season could have taken him out of contention but then it should also have taken the also sulking award winner (who also had a poor Euro) out of contention. Modric by contrast had a good Euro but didn't do much else the rest of the year. The Croatian league truly is a weak league that is won every year by one of the two dominant teams the other teams being mostly target practice. Since Modric transferred to Tottenham he hasn't played very well at all. I am not saying that Arshavin should have won the player of the year but he should have finished higher than 11th.

Arshavin is not the only quality player on Zenit. Danny made a big influence with Zenit this year, even though he didn't arrive until after the UEFA Cup. I just think that Arshavin is really overrated because of his Euro performances he played three games, and was good in two of them. Had he not played well in those two games would you still have put him on this list? I think there are several players that had much better years than Arshavin who didn't even get in the 23 nominations.

To be fair though I think we can all agree the WPotY is a a bit of a joke. I mean to say that John Terry is the only defender in the top 23. He isn't even the best defender playing in England, actually he isn't even the best defender at Chelsea...And Kaka at fourth is based solely on his performances last year, he was very normal in 2008.

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Guest Jeffery S.

The central defender rating is complex, better to look at the voting for the UEFA teams. Closer to reality.

Some defenders have a calm, authoritative way of playing that impresses, and Terry is one of them. That gets votes. If you are calm but understated you may not rate as high (best central defender this year in Spain is Márquez, excellent season). Then there are frenetic defenders who don't look like the kind of serene presence at the back you need, like Puyol. But year in year out he is one of the best in Europe. Has great hustle and competitive spirit, but can be rash and at times out of control. So no votes.

The pair at Man U did not rate, though I think if you look at the key Champions games that is what put them through to the win last year, Ferdinand and Vidic. Few goals for, fewer against. Very solid. But which one of them is better? So you split the vote, the team of the two is what did it. Can't decide which is the better one? So no votes.

Cannavaro, never has come even close to his Italy performances with Real Madrid, a liabilty at times. No one believe he is even amongst the top 10 in Spain. A better central defender, maybe one of the top 4 this year in Spain: Lopo at Depor. Will probably replace Marchena soon on the national team. But I don't think he'll ever get a single vote for best defender anywhere.

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quote:Originally posted by leafdolfan

To be fair though I think we can all agree the WPotY is a a bit of a joke. I mean to say that John Terry is the only defender in the top 23. He isn't even the best defender playing in England, actually he isn't even the best defender at Chelsea...And Kaka at fourth is based solely on his performances last year, he was very normal in 2008.

And Kaka wasn't even that good in 2007. More than half his league goals during the first-half of that year came against the 2 worst teams in Serie "A" (Ascoli and Messina). Granted he was amazing against Man Utd's injury-riddled defence, but we're talking about just two games! And to top it off, he skipped Copa America. [:o)]

Most overrated footballer on the planet right now.

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quote:Originally posted by amacpher

ronaldo-crying.jpg

That's amazing. Thank you so much for this photo. I'd be the last to say anything against Ronaldo's season for Man U, but my God what a little douche. I do hope that he doesn't win anything else in the future because I don't think I could watch Man U/Portugal if his ego got any bigger. It's almost too much to bear as it is.

On a more serious note, while I appreciate the things that Ronaldo does well (and at many of these things he has few equals), he also has many things that count against him. I've never seen him come close to carrying a team or even leading one technically on the pitch. He's no leader/captain. He has a horribly negative attitude and cries when things don't go his way, both figuratively and literally (see above). Plus, and possibly most importantly, does anyone honestly believe that half of his teamates don't want to bitchslap this guy at the best of times??? I know I'd have trouble not to.

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quote:Originally posted by amacpher

Yeah, he's not the most likable player is he? Fortunately Messi, Del Piero, Alves, Rooney (and numerous others) are pwning his a$$ this season so he won't be winning any individual awards this year. [8D]

Hey, we are still only in January.

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A bit off topic but something else I just remembered... Sorry to any Man U fan, but you guys should all be ashamed of yourselves. After seeing C. Ronaldo dive and get Rooney ejected from euro 04 and finishing it off with that cocky wink I figured that his days in England were over. Full stop. This is just guess work but I guarantee Rooney and many others in the dressing room in Old Trafford wanted blood. Now they may have to accept that he wasn't leaving, they're very highly paid professionals, but the fans??? I wasn't reading much English press at the time but I do hope that the rest of England asked Man U fans to get the hell out of the country. That's absolutely shameful. That's like having Maradonna play for Liverpool after the hand of God in Mexico. No excuses.

That pretty much sums up C. Ronaldo for me. Tremendous talent in one tall greasy sourpuss. I really hope he doesn't score that many goals this year.

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quote:Originally posted by earlimus

A bit off topic but something else I just remembered... Sorry to any Man U fan, but you guys should all be ashamed of yourselves. After seeing C. Ronaldo dive and get Rooney ejected from euro 04 and finishing it off with that cocky wink I figured that his days in England were over. Full stop. This is just guess work but I guarantee Rooney and many others in the dressing room in Old Trafford wanted blood. Now they may have to accept that he wasn't leaving, they're very highly paid professionals, but the fans??? I wasn't reading much English press at the time but I do hope that the rest of England asked Man U fans to get the hell out of the country. That's absolutely shameful. That's like having Maradonna play for Liverpool after the hand of God in Mexico. No excuses.

That pretty much sums up C. Ronaldo for me. Tremendous talent in one tall greasy sourpuss. I really hope he doesn't score that many goals this year.

As a United fan I'll give you the fact that Ronaldo is a scumbag, but as long as he's playing for our team, I'll support him. As for the World Cup 2006 incident you are referring too. It was completely blown up by the media. The animosity between the two after the World Cup was non-existent. Second off, Ronaldo did what he did to help his team win the game. He didn't dive to get Rooney sent off, he argued with the ref which ended up working. If it was Canada would you complain about something like that at all? Finally most Man. United fans could care less about England, infact most people in England care about their clubs much more than their country so why would you ever boo Ronaldo for something he did while playing against England. So you can hate Ronaldo, but not for the World Cup incident. And if he played for your team would you not support him?

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