Monday brought with it the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2013 Award Ceremony, where the world’s greatest football (soccer) player is honored.
No different than the rest of the world, many NBA players are avid soccer fans. Prior to the award being announced a couple took to Twitter to express their anticipation for the award’s announcement. Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol seemed exuberant about the closeness of the competition for FIFA’s top honor.
Very tight race this year but we will know pretty soon who is the #Ballondor winner!
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) January 13, 2014
New Orleans Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca gave some pre-award analysis (in French, of course).
CR7 à fais une vrai saison à surpasser tt le monde niveau but et le ballon d’or n’est pas scandaleux mais Ribery as accompli des titres — Alexis Ajinça (@AjincaAlexis42) January 13, 2014
Ajinca seems to have been hoping his native French footballer, Franck Ribery, would win the award. He compared Ribery and Ronaldo’s seasons, suggesting that while Ronaldo had a great individual season, it wasn’t as accomplished as Ribery’s—as he won three titles last year [the 2013 UEFA Champions League, the 2013 UEFA Super Cup and the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup].
In addition to those three championships, Ribery also won numerous individual awards among which included the UEFA Champions League Best Player, UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, UEFA Super Cup Man of the Match, the Bundesliga Player Of The Year, FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball and the FIFA Club World Cup Most Valuable Player.
The Ballon d’Or was then announced. Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo received the award (commonly referred to as the Golden Ball) for the second time in his illustrious career.
After the announcement, a couple players expressed their surprise (and, perhaps, displeasure) with the choice.
The Portland Trail Blazers guard essentially said that Ribery—second runner-up to Ronaldo and first runner-up Lionel Messi—had a big season even though he missed considerable time due to a rib injury. He did, however, congratulate Ronaldo.
Miami Heat star shooting guard Dwyane Wade also congratulated Ronaldo on the accomplishment.
— THREE (@DwyaneWade) January 14, 2014
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