Whoever of these three "Titans of Football" is proclaimed the winner, the controversy will be assured. Not everyone will be in accord or happy with the announcement. From a collective point of view, Franck Ribery deserves the prize after helping Bayern Munich with German League, German Cup & Champions League. However, as seen in 2010 when Spanish star Andres Iniesta won the World Cup with Spain, he too deserved it then but was ousted by team-mate Lionel Messi on individual criteria. Lionel Messi has had a "troubled" second half of 2013 with injuries which has lowered his form & kept him out of the playing fields months but his "pedigree" cannot be questioned . While Cristiano Ronaldo has been a true "Hurricane" with goals in 2013 with unbelievable numbers, but he has not won a "Collective" title with Real Madrid. There are plenty of ingredients to open debate & keep it heated for hours & hours, even days & weeks.
The FIFA - France Football Golden Ball has lost credibility in recent years which is a real pity. The accusations of fixing, economic interests & knowledge of winners before the ceremony has blemished the "concept". This year an added controversy was added when FIFA re-opened & extended the voting to included the World Cup European Groups qualifiers for Brazil 2014 which included the Portugal - Sweden tie that saw Cristiano Ronaldo single handedly put his Nation into the World Cup. Many saw this as giving Cristiano Ronaldo the advantage & even candidate Franck Ribery announced to media that he was "disgusted" with the FIFA decision to extend the period of votes.
So who will win?
Everything indicates that Cristiano Ronaldo will win. There is circumstantial evidence:
- the massive "media campaign" to his favour in the last months.
- numerous surveys that indicate CR7 will win. Surveys that include direct contact with voters around the World to get their votes, independent of the supposed contractual "confidentiality clause" that FIFA places.
- the changing of mind from Ronaldo that he will now attend the Award Gala. The Portuguese star announce his NO ATTENDANCE after FIFA President Blatter showed his preference for Messi & "offended" him with a ridiculous impersonation.
- the decision of Cristiano Ronaldo to travel to Zurich with all his family . This last point is very significant.
Either way, tomorrow all doubts or rumoured knowledge will be formalized. Whoever wins the controversy will be assured, & extras doubts exposed over a prize of this category that should be completely rid off, & should be only known for its coherency, independence & transparency. But nothing with FIFA lately ( Qatar World Cup, for example ) has any of the three.