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Could Buffon be the Winner of the Ballon d’Or?
One of the most important awards in football after the World Cup, the Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball in English) is still waiting for a new owner. The French magazine France Football has been awarding this award since 1956 to the player who performed the best during the year. In English it is known as the European Footballer of the Year award.
This year we have seen a lot of indecision among people involved in the sports media about who will win this award, especially since during the 2006 FIFA World Cup we saw great professional players fight for the cup in a great way. I have to be honest and admit that I would really like to see Gianluigi Buffon win the Ballon d’Or. I loved the work he did with the Italian national team.. in 7 games he netted only 2 goals, with the best football teams in the world, that’s just amazing! That is why he has been compared to some of the best goalkeepers in European football history.
Immediately after the World Cup final, we all knew that the Lev Yashin award for the best goalkeeper was won by the giant (1.91 m) Gigi Buffon. The thing is, if Buffon wins the Ballon d’Or, he will become the first second division player and the second goalkeeper to receive the award. The first and only goalkeeper to ever win was Soviet legend Lev Yashin. He would also be the fifth Italian to do so after Moaro Sivori (1961), Rivera (1969), Paolo Rossi (1982) and Roberto Baggio (1993).
Although he is aware that he is one of the favorites to win the prize, he is not really worried about it. Right now, Buffon is more concerned with helping his Juventus team _where he played for almost 6 years_ climb back to the top of Calcio Italiano after being relegated from Serie A in Italy’s match-fixing scandal. “Others can talk about the Ballon d’Or. I have my work for now… It’s hard but I think I’m hacking it,” said the 28-year-old.
Buffon recently turned down a €33 million bid from Chelsea, opting to stay with Juve rather than follow some of his teammates and leave for other big European clubs. “Juve has been my life for the last few years and I’m used to things in this little outfit,” confirmed Gigi, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
Michel Platini, a three-time winner (1983 to 1985) of the Ballon d’Or, agreed to make Buffon the European Footballer of the Year when asked. “Given that Italy won the World Cup, I would give it to an Italian… They should give it to Buffon, his excellent performances at the World Cup deserve recognition,” Platini said.
Now we just have to wait for the result of the global press poll… after all, the final result depends on their votes, and the bad part is that, as I mentioned before, we can see amazing football players on the list of candidates. That certainly doesn’t make the decision any easier. But the fans chose seven players the most. Along with Buffon, the list includes his former teammate from Juve, Fabio Cannavaro, and AC Milan playmaker Andrea Pirlo. Also England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, Germany and Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack, Arsenal French striker Thierry Henry and last year’s winner Ronaldinho.
The decision will be announced in Paris by November 28. Until then, keep supporting your favorite Ballon d’Or candidate.
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