Earlier today FIFA announced the three finalists of the nominees for the 2012 FIFA Ballon D’Or trophy. Just like last year, the finalists were once again FC Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi (current and 3-time Ballon D’Or winner) plus fellow La Liga player, Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
So, who will win the trophy for the best player of the year?
All three of these players have done more than enough to deserve the title so this year’s title race doesn’t look as clear as some may say it is.
Lionel Messi is without a doubt the player of this generation and it would come to no surprise if he were awarded his 4th Ballon D’Or title this year. Winning it this year again would make the Argentinian the only player to ever win the title for a fourth time. Messi scored 82 goals in 63 matches in 2012, winning the Copa Del Rey title and La Liga’s Golden Boot ttile in Spain along the way.
Cristiano Ronaldo was the last man to win the title, back in 2008, before Messi started his Ballon D’Or three-peat. CR7 scored 59 goals in 64 matches during 2012, helping the Portuguese player lead Real Madrid to a league title in Spain.
Andres Iniesta may be not be talked about in the same regard as the last two players mentioned in this post, but that doesn’t make him any less of a worthy candidate. Spain’s ace in the midfield lead them to their second consecutive European championship, and third consecutive international championship. Iniesta would eventually be named the MVP of the Euros.
If there’s something that’s almost certain is that championships help decide the winners of the title of best player of the year over solely-individual accomplishments. Iniesta and Messi both won the league cup, while Ronaldo won the League title. As far as individual accomplishments go, Messi’s Golden Boot title in La Liga is easily trumped by Iniesta’s Euro Cup MVP award. Taking all of this into account, Iniesta’s key role in his nation’s last conquest should be enough to make him the World’s best soccer player of 2012.