While it was announced that Wayne Rooney, a striker who has failed to feature in any live scores stats recently, is the only English player named on the 23-man shortlist for the Ballon’d’OR, it comes as no real surprise to Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The Ballon d’OR is the most prestigious individual accolade a player can receive in world football. Currently Barcelona’s boy wonder Lionel Messi holds the prestigious award and is looking to retain it for the third consecutive year.
Rooney is looking to be the first Englishman to pick up the reward since his team-mate Michael Owen won it a decade ago.
The 23-man shortlist just shows the gulf in class between the players playing in the Spanish League compared to the rest of the world. There are 13 players named on the shortlist who are currently playing their trade in Spain, while the English Premier League can only boast 4 players. While English players are highly regarded and over hyped at home, ashame the same cannot be said abroad.
The United boss is neither shocked by the fact that Rooney is the only Englishman to be named on the list or that there are so many Spanish-based players. Fergie said: “It’s not a shock, but it’s interesting which players are involved. The fact there are so many Spanish-based players on the list tells you everything.”