The fact that Barcelona’s playmaker received the award in the closing ceremony of the tournament instead of Ahli’s Mohamed Abou-Treika only proves that there was fowl play involved.
Anyone who follows the performance of the two-time FIFA Player of the Year will notice that he did not live up to his potential, especially in the final match which cost Barcelona the title.
Even FIFA’s official website admitted that Ronaldinho was “less effective than usual in the final”, which Barcelona lost to Internacional 1-0.
Meanwhile, Abou-Treika proved his worth in Japan, scoring three goals in three matches and guiding the African champions to an unprecedented third place.
His exceptional displays and decisive goals should not have only earned him the Bronze Ball, but also a contender for best player.
What is worse is that Abou-Treika’s snub could have gone unnoticed.
Ahli board member Khaled Mortagi insisted that a member of the World Cup Organizing Committee asked Ahli’s delegation to stay for the closing ceremony where Abou-Treika will be awarded the Bronze Ball.
However, Barcelona’s surprise defeat changed everything, after all how can Ronaldinho the wizard leave Yokohama empty handed?
While Deco showed excellent form in Barcelona’s two games and deserved to win the Golden Ball award and Internacional’s Pedro Iarley contributed to his team’s title winning goal, there was no room for Ronnie anymore, forcing the Organizing Committee to push the Egyptian star down the pecking order.
If anything, the decision to give Ronaldinho an award is a clear indication that politics and sponsorships play an important role in the international football scene, because at the end of the day, money talks.
And just to get things straight, I am in no way comparing Ronaldinho to Abou-Treika, because despite the latter’s talent, he has a long way to go before matching that of the Brazilian sensation.
But that was not the case in Yokohama!