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Who would have deserved the Golden Ball if Cristiano and Messi weren't existed?

From Griezmann to Rooney, the biggest losers in the last 10 years

Who would have deserved the Golden Ball if Cristiano and Messi weren't existed? From Griezmann to Rooney, the biggest losers in the last 10 years

The Ronaldo-Messi era seemed to be over and Messi's victory doesn't satisfy all those who think that the prize should be assigned to the player who won the most significant trophies in the previous season. The truth is that there are no criteria to define who is more deserving, these years both Cristiano and Messi played another sport compared to the others candidates, but in some cases, the verdict was not taken for granted, other players have lived glorious years, living a brilliant season,  and because of their uniqueness, they deserved to leave a mark in football history. We tried to fantasize, wondering absurdly what would have happened in this decade if nor Cristiano or Messi were born, who had deserved more the Golden Ball?


2008 - Wayne Rooney

The first year in which Cristiano Ronaldo won the Golden Ball Award was the great season of Manchester United. An extremely solid team, made by veterans players, physical and dominant, and the leader was Wayne Rooney,  the true soul of a team as well as a wonderful talent. At the end of the year, he raised the Champions League and the Premier League, in both cases against Chelsea.  For this reason, our nostalgic and consolatory mention goes to John Terry, slipped on the decisive penalty in the Moscow final and captain of the Blues. Alternative: El Nino Torres, decisive in the European Cup final, won by Spain National Team, and lethal goleador for Liverpool.


2009 - Carles Puyol

With the first Champions League won by Guardiola, FC Barcelona began an unchallenged domination and Leo Messi got his hands on the prize for the next four years. Maybe the real winner should be Pep, for the intelligence with which he has changed the rules of the game, but the tiki-taka is a perfect machine, made possible by 11 synchronized gears, and one of these was Charles Puyol. The symbol and captain of FC Barcelona, however, seems to be a different kind of player, less technical, with an old style look, feisty and not very aesthetic compared to his teammates, but the charismatic symbol of the rigor and respect that perfectly describes the Blaugrana philosophy.


2010 - Diego Milito


That's a crime,  the guilty is Leo Messi, the victim Diego Milito, champion of everything with the Inter Milan lead by Josè Mourinho. The exceptionality of this season, maybe just lucky for the striker, is the real reason why "El Principe" had to win that prize. Alternatively, for those who believe that in the World Cup year have to win a tournament's protagonist, there was Wesley Sneijder, an absolute protagonist with FC Inter and silver medal in South Africa 2010 behind Spain.


2011 - Andres Iniesta


We often discuss the footballers' physical form in the year following the World Cup, a speech which does not apply to the Spain players, in particular, Iniesta, who won 6 trophies in 2011 with FC Barcelona, including a Champions League, played as if it was the Thursday's match against the second team. Everything was so elementary by Don Andres, the true Barcelona's brain and for that our hypothetical winner.


2012 - Didier Drogba


Wonderfully, incredibly Drogba. Like a lion, he puts his hands on a Champions League in which FC Chelsea was an underdog, lead by a manager in his very first experience, but with a group of players who had reached a full maturation. A goal in the 90 against Bayern in the final, Marianella declaring his love to the 11 of the Blues and decisive penalty scores. With Lampard, a magnificent leader.


2013 - Arjen Robben


In 2013 Robben won everything, decisive in the Champions League final against Borussia and in the Bundes Liga. That team could have broken the rocks,  and it was frankly more difficult to lose than to win, but he shows us the best year of his career and a manual on how it should be a true wing forward.


2014 - Philipp Lahm


In fairness, we are a bit bored of seeing only strikers to winning the Golden Ball. What if a side back wins? Yes, in 2014 it could have won a side back, World Champion in Rio 2014 with Germany, as captain. The sensation of being always in control of the opponents despite being physically weaker is the real reason why Philipp Lahm has represented for many years the perfect interpreter in that area of the field. He wins the World Cup and leaves the national team, a well-deserved prize.


2015 - Carlos Tevez


In the first Allegri year as Juventus manager, the club won its fourth consecutive Championship, Coppa Italia and reached the final of Champions League, losing against FC Barcelona. FC Juventus was still shy and perhaps not yet aware of its potential, but the Apache was the real man of experience, the last swan song, before returning from his true love, the Boca Juniors.


2016 - Antoine Griezmann


It sounds a bit like a consolation prize, 2016 for Griezmann was extremely unlucky, defeated in penalties in the Champions League final in San Siro, after having failed one in the regular time. As if this were not enough, Grizou also lost in the European Cup final, against Portugal. It's clear, if there were not Cristiano to ruin his life, the 2016 Golden Ball winner would have been Griezmann.


2017 - Gigi Buffon


This fantasy classification allows us to do what France Football tends to do not very often, to give lifetime awards. In this case, Gigi Buffon could have deserved it, once again Champion of Italy as a protagonist, demonstrating a physical form and a unique personality, defeated only by the four goals of Real Madrid in Champions League final, after having suffered only 1 goal in the whole edition. We had to repeat it, if Ronaldo weren't born, Buffon would have raised the cup, obtaining this prize. 


2019 - Virgil van Dijk

The statistics of zero dribbling suffered in a season is quite illustrative of the technical and physical domain of the Liverpool center back. After the Champions League final lost in 2018 he lifts the cup with the Reds and gets to touch the victory in the Premier losing only one game during the whole season. His personality on the pitch is the same as that of Klopp's team, as is that of Netherland National team, of which he is captain. VVD would have deserved, perhaps, as the most dominant player from all points of view.