Why is it when it comes to award giving there are always discrepancies? In the case of the Golden Boot and more recently the Golden Ball this has been the case. How fair is the criterion that is used for deciding on the winner?
Football is considered to be one of thee most lucrative sports around. Before continuing, perhaps the word “sport” should be analysed. “Sport” as a verb means to exhibit for all to be seen. This can certainly be applied to many footballers, and Cristiano Ronaldo is no exception. As a noun “sport” means a source of diversion, an activity, usually requiring physical skill with a set of rules or a code of conduct to abide by. From the same word we have “sportsman/sportswoman” a term which is applied to somebody whose conduct is considered to be that of a fair, generous-minded person who also knows how to lose with class.
Can we say that of Cristiano Ronaldo, this year’s winner of the Golden Ball? Does he come across as being a generous-minded person? Does he not sometimes give the impression that he is playing for himself and not a team? Should being a true sportsman not form part of the criterion when it comes to award giving?
Football goes beyond being a sport. It is in fact one of the world’s most powerful businesses in more ways than one, carrying with it not only money but also heavy responsibilities. Are our holders of the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball aware of these responsibilities?
The vertebra of football does not appear to have very much to do with sportsmanship. On the contrary it seems that its fundamentals are based on money. Indeed, footballers themselves are treated like merchandise – they are up for sale twice a year in the summer and winter markets. Perhaps this is why it has it never dawned on them that they are a heavy influence on their young and vulberable fans? Should their contracts not carry clauses stipulating that not only good performance is expected of them but also good behaviour to remind them of their responsibilities.?
A combination of both could then be part of the criterion used when deciding on a winner worthy of important awards such as the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot? This could then be extended to all footballers right across the board, and not only limited to those in the elite leagues as is the current case. After all, isn’t sharing glory and losing dignantly, at any level, what being a good sportsman is all about? Undoubtedly, the best winners are those who know how to lose with class.