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Could Buffon be the Winner of the Ballon d’Or?
One of the most important awards in football after the FIFA World Cup, the Ballon d’Or (in English Golden Ball) is still waiting for a new owner. The French magazine France Football has awarded this prize since 1956 to the player who has performed best during the year. In English, it is known as the European Footballer of the Year award.
This year we have seen among those involved in the sports media, a lot of indecision as to who was going to win this award, not least because in the 2006 FIFA World Cup we saw great professional players, who fought for the Cup in a splendid way. I have to be honest and accept that I would really like to see Gianluigi Buffon receive the Ballon d’Or. I loved the work he did with the Italy national team… only 2 goals in his net in 7 games, with the best football teams in the world, it’s just amazing! Hence, he has been compared to some of the best goalkeepers in European football history.
Right after the World Cup final, we all knew that the Lev Yashin award for best goalkeeper was for giant (1.91m) Gigi Buffon. The thing is, if Buffon gets the Ballon d’Or, he would become the first second division player and second goalkeeper to receive the award. The first and only goalkeeper to win it was Soviet legend Lev Yashin. Moreover, he would be the fifth Italian to achieve this after Moar Sivori (1961), Rivera (1969), Paolo Rossi (1982) and Roberto Baggio (1993).
Although he is aware that he is one of the preferred options to win the prize, he doesn’t really care. At the moment, Buffon is more concerned with helping his Juventus side _where he played for almost 6 years_ back to the top of Calcio Italiano, after being relegated from Serie A in the match-fixing scandal in Italy. “Others can talk about the Ballon d’Or. I have my work cut out for now… It’s tough here but I think I’m fiddling around,” said the 28 player.
Buffon recently rejected a €33m offer from Chelsea and decided to stay with Juve rather than follow some of his teammates and move on to other top European clubs. “Juve have been my life for a few years and I’m used to things in this small team,” said Gigi, the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.
Michel Platini, triple winner (1983 to 1985) of the Ballon d’Or, agreed to make Buffon the European footballer of the year when asked about it. “Given that Italy won the World Cup, I would give it to an Italian… They should give it to Buffon, his outstanding performance in the World Cup deserves recognition,” Platini said.
Now we just have to wait for the result of the global poll of journalists…after all, the final result depends on their votes and the downside is that, as I mentioned before, we can see in the list of candidates, incredible football players. This certainly does not facilitate decision making. But there are seven most fan-voted players. Joining Buffon on the list are his former Juve team-mate Fabio Cannavaro and AC Milan playmaker Andrea Pirlo. Also England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, Germany and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, Arsenal French striker Thierry Henry and last year’s winner Ronaldinho.
The decision would be announced in Paris, until November 28. Until then, keep supporting your favorite Ballon d’Or candidate.
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