Stuart Gower: Messi Had To Win Ballon D'Or, But Ashley Cole, Andrea Pirlo and Vincent Kompany Should Have Made Team Of The Year

by »

Stuart Gower: Messi Had To Win Ballon D'Or, But Ashley Cole, Andrea Pirlo and Vincent Kompany Should Have Made Team Of The Year

To no-one's surprise Lionel Messi won his fourth Ballon d'Or in a row last night, and rightly so, even though he is the first player to have won the award without winning his domestic league, or a European or international trophy.


Scoring 91 goals in a calendar year to beat Gerd Muller's previous record of 85 is quite frankly a ridiculous achievement and Messi will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest players in history, but he will forever be behind the other little Argentine no matter how many goals he scores.


Winning Napoli's only Serie A Championships in 1986-87 & 1989-90 is a sensational achievement considering they were languishing at the bottom of the table before his arrival. This, together with the World Cup victory in 1986, is what separates Maradona from every other footballing great and unless Messi can replicate a similar achievement, he will always have to accept being behind his compatriot.


The team of the year was made up of Real Madrid and Barcelona players plus Radamel Falcao. This was partly due to the success of the Spanish side at the Euros as well as the two teams' domestic success. But FIFA missed out players who should have been on that stage and collecting awards.


First and foremost, Vincent Kompany has to be in the centre of the defence. He guided Manchester City to their first League title in 51 years and was arguably the most in-form centre back in world football.


Ashley Cole had a better season than Marcelo - I think that is pretty much a given. Cole, along with Drogba, was instrumental in Chelsea winning their first Champions League title and in hindsight his clearance off the line against Napoli will be looked at as a defining moment of the 2011-12 competition.


Andres Iniesta won player of the tournament at Euro 2012, but running him incredibly close was a reinvigorated Andrea Pirlo who was instrumental in the Italy side that got to the final. Pirlo was also the orchestrator of the Juventus side who went unbeaten in Serie A and deserves his place in the heart of the World XI's midfield.


I'd have Robin Van Persie in my team of the year as well, but you can't really argue with what Falcao has done at Atletico Madrid in 2012: winning the Europa League and Super Cup whilst scoring as much as the Dutchman, but RVP might just be ahead of the Columbian in the 2013 team.



My Team Of The Year