Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Golden Boot

I must add my voice to the choir of critics of the chosen finalists for the 2010 Golden Boot: three Barcelona players, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi are the contenders for this year's title as the world's best player.
Barcelona are indeed a powerful team that plays the most entertaining football in the world, and these three players are indeed the spinal chord of the team. Add to this that Iniesta and Xavi are also the most important players of the world champions of Spain (with Iniesta playing a splendid World Cup, and scoring the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands), and it is obvious that these two players are obvious candidates for the title.
Lionel Messi is splendid to watch, and has had a great fall season with Barcelona. But he was almost pathetic in the World Cup in an Argentinean side that started well but disappointed enormously when it counted. So the inclusion of Messi is odd, considering the one player that should have been among the finalists: Wesley Snejder. The Dutch player was splendid for Inter and in 2010 won the Italian championship, the cup, as well as the Champions League (defeating Barcelona on the way). At the World Cup Snejder was also splendid; the best player on a Dutch side that made it all the way to the World Cup final.
Perhaps it is because Inter and the Netherlands have not played such entertaining football as Barcelona, and Snejder is not such a Playstation-player as Messi, but it just shows the entire strangeness of having a title as "world best player" in a sport that is about a team, and less so about an individual player.
I don't know whether Snejder is "better" than Messi, but I think he surely deserves to be among the finalists.

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