Ballon d’or heading to Spain again!

If only I could get someone to explain to me what criterion are used to measure the best domestic football league in the world. The “best league in the world” debate is one I’ve been hearing for more years than I take heed to recall, and it surely will continue until God knows when—but one thing is certain, there could be no conclusive answer.

If only I could get someone to explain to me what criterion are used to measure the best domestic football league in the world.

The “best league in the world” debate is one I’ve been hearing for more years than I take heed to recall, and it surely will continue until God knows when—but one thing is certain, there could be no conclusive answer.

Millions say it is Spain’s La Liga because Barcelona and Real Madrid are such good sides, probably the best two clubs teams in the world and millions more disagree because they think it’s the England’s Premier League because its clubs can afford to buy the best players on exorbitant salaries.

Others believe, it is Italy’s Serie-A because of the tactical nature of its football, and what about some who to them, Argentina or Brazil deserve a crack at that an unofficial title since they produce and export so many quality players overseas, mostly to Europe’s top clubs consistently.

Over the years, Spain’s La Liga has produced the most number of World Player of Year winners—actually, the winner of the last two years, Lionel MessiI is again the front-runner to make a hat trick of the biggest individual award in professional football.

The 23-man shortlist for the 2011 Fifa-Ballon d’Or is dominated by Spain-based players, albeit from two clubs, Barca and Real, who make up more than half of the nominees. European and Spanish champions Barcelona have eight members in the running while Real Madrid have five.

On the other hand, (you can draw your won conclusions here), Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the only English player on the list, although, Sergio Aguero (Man City), Nani (Man United) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool) complete the list of England based players in the run.

Aguero was in La Liga with Real Madrid city rivals Atletico Madrid, while Suarez came from the Dutch league where he had a successful spell with Ajax Amsterdam; they both arrived in the English Premier League this season.

Messi, having won the inaugural Fifa-Ballon d’Or trophy last year, again faces a tough battle from team-mates Xavi, Iniesta, David Villa, Alves, Gerard Pique, Eric Abidal and Fabregas, who was an Arsenal player until the start of this season.

Real have Benzema, Casillas, Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil, but them all, the Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo is the man to give the Argentinean sensational a real run for the top prize. Does this add more significance to the view that Spanish La Liga is just, and I’m talking about just, the best league in the world?

It’s ironical, as the debate goes on, that once again, we could have the top three coming from the same league. Since Ronaldo left Man United, there has hardly been any player capable of competing for the top prize, and the status-quo is highly likely to stay the same, at least for another year.

Until Brazilian youngster Neymer, believed to be the next big thing on the scene, signs for either Real Madrid of Barcelona, but especially the former, Messi and Ronaldo will continue to dominate, bar serious injury of any or both of them.

As fate would have it, in one week, both made big headlines for accomplishing more individual milestones of what has been and continues to be a glittering career for the two rivals to the mantle of ‘best payer in the world’.

On Tuesday Messi hit his 200th goal for Barcelona during his team’s Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen, a day later; Ronaldo reached a landmark of his own with his 100th goal for Real Madrid.

nku78@yahoo.com

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