This week Andres Iniesta sat shell-shocked at the sound of his name being called out as the Uefa European Footballer of the Year.
Indeed it was a surprise as Iniesta went into the night as a firm third favourite behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo; rightly so some might say as both the Argentine and the Portuguese made a mockery of previous preconceptions of goalscoring ability throughout the last campaign.
Iniesta it seems has been rewarded with this prestige mostly due to being the ticking pendulum of the all conquering Spanish side, who so convincingly swept aside Italy in the Euro 2012 final this summer.
He has lived in the shadow of the two perennial favourites for many a year and this was his time to shine.
However did he deserve it? The fact it is a Uefa award did not help the cause of Messi and Ronaldo; Messi in particular, especially after missing a penalty in his last Uefa appearance of the season.
As for Ronaldo, he may have had a good Euro 2012 but it was nowhere near the mercurial talents of the majestic Iniesta.
His dribbling skills are second only to maybe Messi and he possesses the accurate passing ability of perhaps Zico, it sometimes resembles a ball attached to a piece of string when Andres gets on the ball.
So who is the best and which of the three will win the coveted Balon D’Or. Well Iniesta has put himself firmly in the frame, however you do hope the voting didn’t result to a ‘give it to him this time’ format in complete disregard to the phenomenal seasons that Ronaldo and Messi produced.
It could be argued that Ronaldo will pip the award after helping Real Madrid to topple Messi’s beloved Barca in La Liga this season; bringing an end to Josep Guardiola’s dynasty scoring 60 goals in 50 games in the process. He also became the first man to ever score against all of La Liga’s outfits in a single season.
Despite all this however, and with little thought or regard to the supposed lack of success Barcelona achieved last season Lionel Messi must be the overwhelming favourite. His statistics for last season read like that of a schoolboy prodigy.
50 La Liga goals and 16 assists coupled with equally impressive goalscoring form in Europe and Cup competitions saw the little Argentine score a whopping 73 goals in a single season. Not forgetting the 29 assists also attributed to him during this time and you have to give Messi the honour of the world’s best for a 4th consecutive season.
Or do you?
Who do you think is the world’s best?
image: © prettyfriendship