Wesley Sneijder’s FIFA Snub

When the winner of the 2010 Ballon D’Or was announced, there was probably one player even more disappointed than the Barcelona’s duo Xavi and Iniesta, Wesley Sneijder.
The Dutch midfielder was not even in the top three and that in a season when Inter won the treble, something no Italian side had done before, and brought back the “Cup with the big ears” for the first time since 1965.
It is true that also his team mates were ignored, notably Samuel Eto’o and Diego Milito, but to Sneijder’s credit he had a fantastic World Cup while the two Inter strikers did not. The Dutch midfielder maestro dragged his side to the final on his own, where they then succumbed to a much superior side but not without a fight and maybe a few regrets. He scored five goals in seven games and provided one assist. Surely he had done enough to get a nomination, to be reckoned by FIFA and the football media world? After all, less players than him in the past won the prize after a good World Cup and his, despite not having been able to lift it, had definitely been a good one.
Quite surprisingly, to some, instead the top spot was awarded, for the second season running, to Leo Messi. He did not win the Champions League, actually his side went out against Sneijder’s Inter, and did not shine in South Africa. Unfair?
The FIFA Ballon D’Or should go to the best player in a calendar year, it should be a recognition of someone’s brilliance and, if so, maybe the final choice was legitimate.
In the Spanish top flight Messi scored 42 goals in 2010 and supplied 15 goal assists, while in the Champions League he netted 12 and created one. In the same competition Sneijder boasts four goals and six assists but it is in Serie A where he probably came up short. His last strikes were the two against Siena more than a year ago (09/01/2010) and in the 30 league appearances in 2010 he recorded just six goal assists.
He has surely showed his skills and ability on the two most prestigious football stages, at both club and international level, but Serie A is his bread and butter, his weekly routine, and probably, compared to the other professionals selected by FIFA, he did not deserve a nomination as much as they did.

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