As the January 12th 2015 reveal date is ever approaching, we begin to evaluate who the three final contenders are, but so very little is being discussed about how the final decision and the final names are decided upon.
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has revealed his Ballon d’Or vote and it reveals much more than just the name on his ballot.
The Ex-Barca boss says he has and always will vote for Lionel Messi, regardless of who is running against him.
“Some coaches just aren’t very objective on the matter,” he said, as quoted by Marca.
“I’m one of them. If Messi is in the mix, that’s who I want to win. I voted for him.”
The revelation may not seem like much of a surprise seeing as he is Messi’s national side coach, but it does spark a topic not touched upon nearly enough; the Ballon d’Or voting process.
“Maybe we should reconsider who votes for this award. There are many personal implications” Martino revealed, and he may be on to something.
With much debate sparking this year’s (and every year’s) Ballon d’Or race, Martino has just shed light on an age old problem: an biased voting system.
Voting for the sacred Ballon d’Or is open to national team coaches, national team captains and highly selective journalists, who are named on a list compiled by France Football and FIFA.
While some may argue that these coaches, captains and journalists are amongst the most highly qualified to judge the best player of the year, it also brings to surface the problem of bias that essentially every coach, captain and journalist has, whether they would like to admit it or not.
Now you ask yourself, how do we eliminate bias? I suppose you cannot completely eliminate bias from any situation, but you cannot honestly say that a coach will not vote for a former player, a captain vote for a friend, or a journalist vote for a player on his country’s national team?
And who votes is not the only problem. The Ballon d’Or 2014 represents the best player in football for the 2014 calendar year; so why isn’t the entire calendar year accounted for?
Messi broke the all time La Liga scoring record on November 22nd and the the Champions League goalscoring record on November 25th. Cristiano Ronaldo broke the La Liga hat-trick record on December 6th and hit 200 goals in only 178 appearances the very same day.
The deadline for the 2014 Ballon d’Or vote was November 21st. Yes, November 21st. Regardless of what has happened from that day until now (two of the finalists breaking arguably the biggest records of their career) the votes were in and the decision had already been made.
Some may argue for a Messi victory all day every day such as Gerardo Martino. Others may proclaim that 2014 is the year of CR7 and no other man is more deserving. And some others may even argue that 2014 is actually the year of the goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer.
The moral of the story: We may all disagree on who should raise the trophy, but perhaps the focus should not only be on who is named the best player of the year, but how?