What a load of balls

10 01 2011

There was a time when football had a bit of mystery. There was a time when all you had was a name or a vague idea of a kit colour to go on. It’s hard to believe now but there was a time when you may never have seen well-known players. This was the 1950s, a decade where an imagination was needed.

In some ways that decade represents a golden era of glamour; the European Champions’ Cup began with names like Honved, Slovan, Rapid and Real exuding exoticism, the Inter-cities Fairs Cup began, odd team colours, Billy Wright met a Beverley Sister etc etc. The Ballon d’Or was also founded in this era.

The Ballon d’Or was given to the player voted “European Footballer of the Year” by European journalists. It was presented by France Football magazine and the first winner was Stanley Matthews. The list of winners is a who’s who of European football; Cruyff, Eusebio, Di Stefano, Beckenbauer, Yashin, Platini, Keegan, Van Basten. In less corporate times the journalists would make their decision and there would be a short presentation of the Ballon d’Or before a normal match, and that was it. It looked very much like this;

To some British people these kind pictures might have seemed arcane, but they would probably only be seen by the sort of people who read World Soccer anyway. When the young Jet Set managed a glimpse of pictures like this glamour came to mind; the yellow headlights of stylish Paris, the late evening sun of a Barcelona summer, the bulbous TV towers of Western Germany.  The photos were enough, the glamour didn’t need to be sold.

This year  the Ballon D’or is not going to be awarded by France Football. This year the greasy finger marks of Blatter will literally be on the award because FIFA have taken over the award. Instead of the traditional modest presentation we now have a gala for Blatter and his cronies to bask in reflected glory.  Instead of a mere handover, the award winner now faces a slap on the back from Sepp. Let’s hope he can dry clean his new suit!

Now it’s a gala…….

“A new chapter in football was opened with the news that France Football’s Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award have merged. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter signed an agreement with Amaury Group President Marie-Odile Amaury on the 5 July 2010, meaning that the world’s best player will from now on be awarded the FIFA Ballon d’Or each year.

“I’m delighted that Marie-Odile Amaury and France Football have extended a hand to FIFA. As a result, we have accomplished an idea that has been discussed at FIFA for a number of years now, and no doubt at France Football too: we’re going to combine our talents and experience to create a single reward for the world’s best player. It will be known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or,” said President Blatter.

Of course football needed FIFA to take over the award. Of course they need a gala to announce the winner and of course this gala needs selling , in fact it needs selling a lot,  if it’s not sold how are Sepp and the boys going to claim expenses by proving how great they are? Well done FIFA you’ve managed to sully another part of football with your slick marketing bollocks.




One response

11 01 2011
Harvil MLS Foosballs (3 Balls) | MLS Fan Shop

[…] What a load of balls « Llandudno Jet Set […]

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