Despite a petulant and embarrassing "war cry" as he accepted the award, there's little doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo was a worthy winner of this years Ballon d'Or.
For almost the entire year there hasn't been anyone close enough to challenge the Portuguese and knock him from his mantle. However, there is a niggling feeling for many now that the trophy has lost its allure and prestige.
When you hear of players, journalists or managers voting for friends it does leave a sour taste in the mouth. Can an award remain truly credible when it's subject to "Eurovision" style voting?
The issues are many, not least the continued accusation of corruption at world football's governing body.
Arda Turan was just one player to come out and say that his vote for Manager of the Year had been changed from Diego Simeone to Joachim Low. It follows last year's debacle when voting had reopened after Ronaldo had taken Sweden apart on his own, and hot on the heels of an incredible gaffe from Sepp Blatter at the Oxford Union.
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It led to talk of voting being rigged to appease Ronaldo but in reality that does the player no favours. The bottom line is that this particular award is for the world's "best player."
To that end, why aren't there any available and measurable metrics in place to judge a players performance on?
Websites such as Bloomberg (BSPORTS), WhoScored and Squawka deliver accurate performance data on a game-by-game basis which paints a picture over the course of the season. At present it seems that if you score the most goals, you're in with a shout.
To give you an example.
Ronaldo is renowned for his expert dribbling skills, one of the main facets to his game. In 2014 the player with most successful dribbles was Lionel Messi with 164. In second place with 101 was Athletic Club's Iker Muniain. Ronaldo didn't even make triple figures.
Similarly, most duels/tackles won. If this were taken into account, players from the Premier League would put their marker down for the award.
There could be no accusations of vote rigging because there simply wouldn't be a vote. We, as supporters, would know before the ceremony who had won because we would have an appreciation of the data provided.
If FIFA really want to be taken seriously as an organisation, then this surely represents a move in the right direction? Otherwise the voting is always open to interpretation and that's just not fair on the game's very best protagonists.
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