Marseille footballer Joey Barton discusses the FIFA XI and what it says about the standards in the Premier League for the Paddy Power Blog
The all-La Liga FIFA World XI is a rude awakening for the Premier League. It’s voted on by the international coaches and captains and the media, so it tells us the rest of the world don’t rate the Premier League as highly as we do.
We’re too quick to throw around the ‘world class‘ label. People are always calling English players ‘world class’ and then wondering why we don’t win World Cups or get close to winning major competitions. The media have built these players up to be world beaters when they’re not really. Until the media wake up and say to themselves ‘hang on, we’re actually talking bollocks here’, they’ll keep telling us we’re world class when we’re not. Far from it. It’s got to the point where you’ve got 17 year old lads playing a few games in the first team, doing reasonably well and then immediately demanding £30,000 or £40,000 a week. What’s going on? No-one seems to be earning their spurs any more.
It’s not just us though. Juventus went unbeaten throughout their successful Serie A campaign and none of their players got a mention. Borussia Dortmund were brilliant in Germany and Bayern Munich were excellent all the way to the Champions League final and they didn’t get a look in. Chelsea won the Champions League and there’s none of their players in it.
There’s no doubt that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world, what’s the point of having a vote? Everyone knows that, just give him the award. He was that good last year, it’s embarrassing to even have a vote. They should just call it ‘the Messi Award’ and have done with it. It’s hard to believe that some people didn’t even have him in the top three. The Ballon d’Or has become the Eurovision Song Contest with all the political voting. People are voting politically. I saw Ronaldo gave his vote away to Bruno Alves because he wanted to win and he couldn’t vote for himself.
What are awards really? Does Messi really need the Ballon d’Or to prove he’s the best player in the world? He should know that himself.