UEFA President Michel Platini has mused that after the 2010 World Cup, a Spanish player should have received the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
La Roja lifted the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, but the individual prize to recognise the best player of the year went to Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta’s Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi.
Talking to AS on the subject, UEFA’s President reflected on the view that a Spaniard perhaps could have received the award instead.
“That’s what I wonder. I agree that the 2010 Ballon d’Or should have been won by a Spaniard,” considered Platini in today’s edition.
“Iniesta, Xavi, they deserved it, for me. Messi won, for he is a great champion. But in 2010, for me, a player from Spain had to win the Ballon d’Or.”
The former Juventus man turned his attention to voting for this year’s edition.
“It seems that the favourites are Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ribery. The first two are very good and Ribery is the one who has won everything.
“They are three great players. The choice for the Ballon d’Or this year is the most difficult in the history of the trophy.
“Why did FIFA extend the voting? It’s a decision that coincided with respect to Portugal playing in the World Cup play-offs, with three goals in the game against Sweden from Cristiano. It may be that FIFA has done this to please Cristiano…” mused Platini before laughing.
The Frenchman was asked why after the 2010 World Cup a Spanish player did not pick up the award.
Platini has won the award himself three times, with consecutive wins also a record until broken last year with Messi’s fourth.
“[The feeling to win is one of] an intimate pride, and a feeling that each piece of the trophy belongs to your teammates, because football is played by teams, they win and lose. But it is the greatest recognition you can receive as a player and there is worldwide recognition as such.
“So I would not be telling the truth if I did not say I felt pride for receiving it. We have all felt it and continue to when there are winners of future editions.”