FIFA Football Awards – Was VAR Needed?

Casey Baughan expresses her opinion on the controversial FIFA Football Awards and delves deep into the FIFA soiree and all its glory…

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Global super star footballers swarmed London’s Royal Festival Hall yesterday evening for a night of questionable jokes from Idris Elba and his Gareth Southgate waistcoat. With a confusing performance from ‘Man’s Not Hot’ singer Big Shaq – the FIFA Football Awards shaped up to be an interesting event.

The London awards ceremony celebrated the immense amount of talent and sporting entertainment that we have witnessed in the past season, but it seems FIFA only watched from the World Cup onwards. From Bale’s breathtaking bicycle kick, to Manchester City’s documented Premier League victory and Kante’s modest celebrations… FIFA seemed to have missed most, if not all of that.

Luka Modric was the man to put an end to the Messi v Ronaldo saga, taking yet another title back home with him to Spain. Showing once more that he is the best player of the year, because winning player of the World Cup wasn’t enough! Of course the two ‘GOATs’ weren’t left out of the whole night, the so-called rivals made FIFA’s team of the year. But Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t resist a little snub, excluding Lionel Messi as one of his three best players of the year, with Argentina’s star man doing the opposite.

Now for the hot controversies of the night…

The voting system definitely needs some reviewing – call in VAR! Although Thibaut Courtois, won the FIFA Best Goalkeeper Award which was well deserved for his consistency, he didn’t make it into the World XI team up. Maybe he’s not so popular among his fellow sporting stars, as players cast the votes for that.

Even Arsenal fans couldn’t manage to secure a win in their notorious poll skills, with Mo Salah stealing the FIFA Puskas Award for goal of the year. You might be picturing one of his curlers from outside of the box, against Southampton in 2017 for example. But no, this strike somehow made it as the best goal of the year – note that it wasn’t even nominated for the Premier League goal of the season.

I think that most of the footballing world is baffled by this decision; Bale and Ronaldo must have a few words to say after their memorable Champions League overhead bicycle kicks. At least James Milner was there to congratulate his Liverpool teammate on Twitter.

The spotlight fell onto women’s football last night for a mix of positives and negatives, with Brazilian forward Marta taking home her sixth trophy for best player. She is officially the ‘GOAT’ overtaking Messi and Ronaldo for the number of years that she has won this. However, a player who some may argue should have placed higher in the player vote was Sam Kerr. Despite her striking performances in the National Women’s Soccer League, the Australian forward finished 9th leading many to question FIFA’s credibility.

Dani Alves has had an easy ride for the 2018 season, playing only 16 club games, two international matches, and not playing in Russia this World Cup yet still being selected for the FIFA World XI right back. Ok, he has had injury problems, but how can this result in making the final World XI? Not forgetting that not one Manchester City player made this selection, the out of this world Premier League champions including Kevin De Bruyne and Leroy Sane were left on the bench this time.

I’m already intrigued to see what next years awards ceremony has to offer.

You can follow Casey on Twitter @casey_baughan

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