Newcastle United's Jack Colback during the pre-season friendly match at Deepdale, Preston. ©️ FourFourTwo

On the 24th of September, Milan, Italy was the hottest spot on earth. Millions of fans were awaiting the results of The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019. The awards were presented at La Scala opera house in Milan. It is a union football award presented yearly by FIFA, the top governing body of the game. Lionel Messi bagged the FIFA Men’s Player of the year award while Megan Rapinoe won the women’s prize.

The nominees are selected by the captains and coaches. Nominating someone is easy because there are always a couple of players who hit the mark. But, selecting one among them is not that easy of a task as it sounds. It is often in such a way that the nominated players have a huge fan base and when the results are announced all the social media platforms are on fire.

The responses are mixed with appreciations to criticisms to a fan who is always paranoid. Every award ceremony always comes with some ‘tea’, not only awards but every single match comes with some good old criticisms and it always sparks up a heated discussion between two sports maniacs.

This year’s award also comes with a whole new package of some expressions of disapproval and many times it ends up with one calling out the decision as prejudice. Lionel Messi voted for Cristiano Ronaldo in the Best Men’s Player list and eventually ended up winning the title himself after ending up in the final three shortlists and defeating Ronaldo and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dyk.

Messi’s top three picks were Sadio Mane, Frenkie de Jong and Cristiano Ronaldo. But Ronaldo had Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Kylian Mbappe in his top three list.

Fans took to twitter immediately to point out the ‘no return of favour’ by Ronaldo. Also, some of them were even more curious as to why he didn’t show up to the award show in spite of being somewhere in the city. But, if seen from a point of justice, players were given all the rights to choose their top three. Messi is labelled as someone who is the best and doesn’t brag that he is the best but Ronaldo was labelled to be the one who blows his own trumpet.

This is portrayed as a trust issue. The best metaphor that can be used here is that of a relationship and Ronaldo is labelled to be the one who cheated. Empathy never works in sports. It is solely based on winning spirit and sportsmanship. So Ronaldo was expected to ‘return the favour’ when the whole selection process is expected to be diplomatic.

But overall the awards was well accepted and even some critics stood in favour of the results. In conclusion, this award ceremony worked well just like a match with all the rules and regulations and each player is allowed to have their style to move forward in winning the game. Similarly, we can shut down the issue with Ronaldo by stating that he had all the rights to move with his own ‘style’ or ‘choice’ in this context.

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