Thursday, November 7, 2013

A look at FIFA's 2013 World player list-Yaya Toure named in the 23 men shortlist

It’s no news that Ivorian and Man-City midfielder, Yaya Toure is the only African player in FIFA’s 23-men shortlist for the World’s Footballer of the year award, however, the one question on the mind of most Africans is whether or not this is due to Africa’s current state of football, or is FIFA blind to the array of talents in African football today?

Do not get this wrong, Africa is slowly getting back to its glory days in football, and yes, we do have some talented players, but the first question still stands, what is going on with the current state of Football in Africa?  I was going to name some players but let’s face, there aren't any these days and FIFA actually did a great job by including Yaya Toure on the list following his recent performance. The previous nine list have featured African players like Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o, and former Blues Drogba 8 times each, while Michael Essien was nominated 4 times.

The World Cup is around the corner and the qualifiers are coming up nicely with the African giants making their marks and working their way to Brazil 2014. In the last World Cup which was held in South Africa 2010, there were all in all, 6 African sides representing the continent and Ghana was the only side to go beyond the first round of the tournament. Depressing as this sounds, there is still a lot of potential in African football regardless of the fact that the African super star players are aging and very soon there will be a strong need for a new Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Adebayor, Essien and even Yaya Toure.
Relentless, Africa will be back to its usual self,  and with players like Nigeria’s Emenike, Victor Moses, Demba ba and not to forget New Chelsea signing Bertrand Traore who was described by Manager Mourinho as a "great talent", the African dream is still very much alive.

Looking back, in the history of the very prestigious Ballon d’Or, only two African players have ever finished in the top three of the world player of the year list – George Weah won it in 1995 and was runner-up the following year, while Eto’o was third in 2005.

The 23 men short list in line for the 2013 Ballon d’Or 2013 was drawn up by football experts from the FIFA Football Committee and by a group of experts from France Football. The list of ten coaches has also been drawn up by the Committee for Women’s Football and FIFA Women’s World Cup and by the FIFA Football Committee, as well as by a group of experts from France Football.
Here is a look-see at the nominees for 2014 Ballon d’Or award-23 men (in alphabetical order) in contention for the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013:
Gareth Bale (Wales), Edinson Cavani (Uruguay), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Radamel Falcao (Colombia), Eden Hazard (Belgium), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Robert Lewandowski (Poland), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Manuel Neuer (Germany), Neymar (Brazil), Mesut Özil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Franck Ribéry (France), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Luis Suárez (Uruguay), Thiago Silva (Brazil), Yaya Touré (Côte d’Ivoire), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands), Xavi (Spain).

This year, no African team coach made the short list of coaches, one coach who should have made this list is Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi for all his efforts and achievement in this year. In winning the African Cup of Nations, Keshi demonstrated strength and bravery by building a semi fresh team made mostly of home based players and some of the international players, bringing new light into Nigerian football as well as discovering and restoring new talent.

The following 10 coaches (in alphabetical order, first nationality and then team) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football 2013:
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Paris Saint-Germain FC/Real Madrid CF), Rafael Benítez (Spain/Chelsea FC/SSC Napoli), Antonio Conte (Italy/Juventus), Vicente Del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Sir Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United FC former coach), Jupp Heynckes (Germany/FC Bayern München former coach), Jürgen Klopp (Germany/Borussia Dortmund), José Mourinho (Portugal/Real Madrid CF/Chelsea FC), Luiz Felipe Scolari (Brazil/Brazil national team), Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal FC).