Friday, November 17, 2006


Article taken from
16/11/2006 19.53

Cannavaro Wins Golden Ball! Fabio Cannavaro has won the Golden Ball, this according to a insider.

Fabio Cannavaro, whose
official web site is powered by, will be named the winner of the Golden Ball (Ballon d'Or) as Europe's top footballer. The announcement will be made official on November 27.The Real Madrid defender took the world by storm over the summer at the World Cup, where he led a staunch Italian defense that was the backbone to Italy's World Cup triumph in Germany.

Thierry Henry had emerged as an early frontrunner for the honor during the tabulation of journalists' votes, per a report last week, but Cannavaro, who played last season with Juventus, overtook the Frenchman, who finished third, and Azzurri and former Juve teammate Gianluigi Buffon, who finished second, for the honor. Barcelona's Ronaldinho won the award last year.

By winning the award, Cannavaro becomes the first Italian to be so honored since Roberto Baggio won it 1993.

In addition to Cannavaro and Baggio, three other Italians have won the Ballon d'Or: Omar Sivori (1961), Gianni Rivera (1969), and Paolo Rossi (1982).

Does Cannavaro really win it? One wonders. If it does, I begin to hear complaints why Henry, Ronaldinho, Buffon or Kaka didn't win it. People argue that the whole season of so matches cannot really be matched with just the few matches of the World Cup as the decider of who will win it. Ronaldinho is a good example, he won the La Liga as well as the Champions League and went to the quarters of the World Cup at least.

Well, all I have to say is the World Cup is held once every 4 years. If you can't shine in that very particular 7 matches, you will not feature as the greats of the world. You see, it is a criteria when you want to talk about the best. Alfredo di Stefano was so damn good in club football but will never measure up to Pele, Maradona and Beckenbauer because he did not win a World Cup. Simple as that! It is like a tennis player winning every WTA tour crown contested but never win a Grand Slam.

You have to admit as I do that Cannavaro was perfect in defence during the World Cup. I saw how he played against anybody and nobody seems to be able to get pass him. He was perfect against anybody, including strikers much taller than him as well as much younger than him. His positioning was so perfect it seems like he knows where the ball will land at. It reminds me of Dennis Rodman when people ask him how he predict balls rebounding positions to take. He said he studied every single players shot patterns and he will calculate where the ball will most probably go to if it did not make a shot. That's why he was always at the right place and at the right time to grab it down. That's why he can even out rebound the entire opponent team!

As for Kaka, I admit he was good during the World Cup but so was Pirlo who I thought was even better. As for Henry, I don't have to say much. I never seen him perform well for France in big occassions where it matters most. Buffon? I thought if not because of Cannavaro, he would not have bore to death sitting in front of the goal hardly threatened by any shots on goal. All I have to say is Cannavaro was the best performer at doing his job during the World Cup. His job as a defender that is. His Serie A record may be a cheating crown but I always believe the cheating was done between the referees and the management of clubs. Perhaps some players were involved but I don't believe in the whole Serie A top clubs having players who are willing to cheat to win titles.

Apart from this news, Rafa Márquez will become a Spanish citizen on 24th November and so he will open up one non-EU place taken up by him, Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho. Therefore, this gives signings like Rodrigo Palacio as well as Giovani Dos Santos, who is playing for the reserve squad to be able to play with the big team.


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