With the individual trophy only going to one player per year, it can be a controversial choice. So lets look at 4 winners that I think should have won it.
David Beckham 1999 (winner: Rivaldo)
At one point, David Beckham should have won the Balon Dor in his career. And if it was at any point, it should have been after the treble winning season, where he was instrumental in those three major trophies. Beckham got 9 goals and 23 assists in all competitions. When looking at the iconic moments of that champions league run, being Roy Keane saving us against Juventus and those 2 goals in the final. Beckham had an involvement in all of these moments. Without Beckham united wouldn’t have won anything. Even looking at the winner Rivaldo, Barcelona didn’t even get out of the group stages in that champions league. He shouldn’t have one that award. To me the Balon Dor should go to the player who over performed in a year, and Beckham definitely did.
Oliver Kahn 2001 (winner: Michael Owen)
It amazes me that the daft pundit himself actually won the prestigious award. I am not doubting him as a player. To me he is one of the top three young players to ever play the game. But Owen was definitely not the best player in the world. Yes Liverpool did win a handful of trophies that season. But Bayern Munich won the champions league! Owen should have been considered, but not as the winner. Goalkeepers usually do not get the credit they deserve, with only Lev Yashin being the only player to win it. Brilliant goalkeepers like Casillas, Zoff and Buffon have never won the Balon d’Or. But Kahn in that season did definitely deserve to win it. The very vocal legend was one of the best keepers of his generation, and if anyone was going to win it. That was Kahn’s best shot and a second keeper’s best shot.
Wesley Sneijder 2010 (winner: Lionel Messi)
It might be a controversial pick, but this was a year where Messi or Ronaldo didn’t deserve to win, but the talent that was Sneijder. The Dutchman won a treble that year with the underdogs Inter Milan, and most importantly, scored five goals to carry a decent Holland side to the final. Sneijder was brilliant in every competition he played in. He was easily the best player on the planet that year. But as seen with Rivaldo, Everyone just seems to love Barcelona and especially Lionel Messi. Dont get me wrong Messi is the best to play the game, but sometimes players have a better year than another.
Angel Di Maria 2014 (winner: Cristiano Ronaldo)
After discrediting Messi, now let’s discredit the other great player of our modern time. Angel Di Maria had the season of his life in that champions league season. He bagged 7 goals and 22 assists to help guide Madrid to a tenth European cup. Di Maria got the man of the match in the champions league final, and was involved in an Argentina team that reached the world cup final. Ronaldo on the other hand didn’t turn up that in that final and that Portuguese team didn’t even get out the group’s. Di Maria then made a move to Manchester united and got his name all over the internet. He started incredibly good and deserved the award to prove it.