The Best Player in the World is No One You’ve Ever Heard Of

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. TotalBarca just compiled a short list of the votes placed for the FIFA World Player of the Year 2009 (full list) – I’ve copied the first 8 rows here. The rules were, basically, that only national coaches and captains could vote, and they couldn’t vote for countrymen (thus Mascherano cannot vote for Messi, for example.)

Notice anything weird?


Country                     Player                          1st                           2nd                   3rd

Argentina                     J.Mascherano            M.Essien               S.Gerrard         T.Henry

Australia                       L.Neill                            Xavi                       L.Messi              F.Torres

Belarus                           A.Hleb                           Invalid vote       L.Messi             A.Iniesta

Belgium                          T.Vermaelen               S.Gerrard             L.Messi            J.Terry

Brazil                               Lucio                              D.Drogba              S.Eto’o             Z.Ibrahimovic

Bulgaria                         D.Berbatov                   L.Messi                  C.Ronaldo      F.Torres

Cameroon                    S.Eto’o                             L.Messi                 A.Iniesta          Xavi

Cote de Ivoire            D.Drogba                       S.Eto’o                    L.Messi             F.Torres

I do. Belarussian Aliaksandr Hleb apparently thought the best player in the world was someone from his own country- a worthy sentiment, indeed, but an invalid one given the voting rules. Also given the fact that he is easily the best known and probably the best Belarussian player in the world, is it possible that he could have voted for himself? Now that’s something one would expect of Cristiano Ronaldo, but…Hleb?

I know who’d love this….Isaiah of the fantastic BFB! I strongly urge any reader to click on that link and see the picture that perfectly sums up this scenario for FIFA (too much respect to simply pull it here.) But I will use a BFB (TM) phrase:


Note: All due respect to Hleb, though. I greatly admired his play at Arsenal and was excited when he joined Barca last year – for a mixture of reasons, it didn’t work out, to the detriment of essentially every party involved. Whattapity.

By the way, just because I want to have a picture in this post and just because this picture rocks:



  1. Terry voted for Drogba and Ballack
    Is this a joke ? or was he drunk ?

    Messi had crazy stats as an individual on top of the 6 trophies he’s won in 1 year..what else can one do to deserve a vote ?
    Fletcher, Berbatov, Park..all voted for ronaldo , Messi..with only Fletcher voting Ronaldo as number 1

    Terry being the club and country Cpt should act more responsibly..he just lost any respect i had for him

    1. i don’t think it matters, actually…the best player in the world is necessarily subjective and if terry thinks essien, drogba, and ballack are better players, then he has a right to have a different opinion than many others.

      certainly essien is a more verstile player than messi, for example, and ballack has proved himself over a longer period of time than messi. so there is method to that madness. dunno what responsibility has to do with this.

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