A day after he was crowned FIFA World Player of the Year in Zurich with the distinction of becoming the first Premier League player to do so, Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo, who sweeps soccer top individual honors for 2008, is at the crossroad of his life and I’m asking where is he going from here? I’m mad for Liverpool FC but CR7 is one of my favorite footie players and for me he is one of the many who epitomes sexy football to borrow the phrase of former Chelsea, Newcastle and Feyenoord manager Ruud Gullit when he was waxing lyrical about it. There is such joy in watching CR7 plays football and I’m worried that in the past few months CR7 has forgotten to play sexy football. I know CR7 missed the start of this season because of recuperation from an injury. And we saw how he has struggled to regain his form. He has eight league goals, and the last came in November. Should we be worried? In his case, I think not. The spark that used to be so much a part of him was just dimmed but not completely missing. Whatever hold Sir Alex Ferguson had on him that is making him the way he is now, I believed Sir Alex has something to do with it. Some of us know what the Man U manager is capable of doing in psyching up his players and other people. CR7 should have the guts to follow his dream and to break off the hold Sir Fergie has on him.
On the other topic, the recently concluded FIFA Awarding in Zurich showcased the best in the football world. It should be noted that nearly half the list of best players coming from the Premier League and another third from La Liga. Also, FIFA has the distinction of herding in Ronaldo, Messi, Fernando Torres, Kaka and Xavi Hernandez in the middle of the season to sit in a room on the off-chance that they might win an award. Ronaldo received 136 first-place votes and 935 points in a worldwide poll of national team captains and coaches. He was followed by Barcelona and Argentina midfielder Lionel Messi (678) and Liverpool and Spain striker Fernando Torres (203), with the results announced by Brazilian great Pele.
AC Milan and Brazil midfielder Kaka, the 2007 winner, was fourth (183), followed by Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez (155), Liverpool and England midfielder Stephen Gerrard (98) and Barcelona and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o (58),
CR7 was widely expected to win after bagging the Ballon D’Or as European player of the year and World Soccer magazine’s player of the year. Before the announcement, the orchestra at the Zurich Opera House gave a not-so-subtle hint by playing an aria from Handel’s “Rinaldo.”
Ronaldo is the second Portuguese to receive the award. Luis Figo won in 2001.
Below are the complete list the world’s best players in football world.
1 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
2 Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
3 Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
4 Kaka (AC Milan)
5 Xavi (Barcelona)
6 Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
7 Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona)
8 Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
9 Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
10 David Villa (Valencia)
11 Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg)
12 Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
13 Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
14 Michael Ballack (Chelsea)
15 Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
16 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan)
17 Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)
18 Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
19 Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid)
20 Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid)
21 John Terry (Chelsea)
22 Gigi Buffon (Juventus)
23 Deco (Chelsea)