It never ceases to amaze me the amount of players that never gain the recognition their game deserves. I don’t question the ability of the players preferred, they are of course world-class in their own right in what they bring to the game and any team privileged to have them.
For years now Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have hogged the headlines, scoring goals, providing assists and showcasing the flair modern football fans enjoy. This has led to them sharing Fifa's Player of the Year award (Ballon d'Or) for 11 of the last 12 years.
It’s also no surprise the sums of money that does the rounds across the footballing world today.
It’s not just a sport, it’s an entertainment business.
I’ll never forget being a 14 year old boy playing at Arsenal and listening to my teammate David Bentley state “I don’t want to be a footballer, I want to be a star, an entertainer.”
Fast forward a few years and this is now where we find ourselves. It’s not just a sport, it’s an entertainment business. The Ronaldo’s, Messi’s, Neymar’s, Mbappé’s of this world fit the criteria – on and off the field. They entertain supporters, that’s why they’re paid the big bucks. It’s not too dissimilar to a Hollywood actor or actress in terms of salary, the main difference is footballers entertain for longer and they do it live.
You could argue footballers are not paid enough, but who am I to give ammunition to footballing agents across the globe to demand higher salaries for their players.
There’s many players striving to be the entertainers of tomorrow and unless you’re completely sold on the Roy of the Rovers comic books, where one player makes a team successful, you’ll understand my stance of football being a team game. A collective effort of the best starting line up the organisation/club has to offer the fans in entertainment value to win the game in question.
Since the English Premier League resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown, I was mesmerised for most, if not all of Man City’s games. In their final 10 games they produced 35 goals, the average of 3.5 goals per game must scare the living hell out of the other clubs hoping to stop them from Champions League glory this season. One man that is undoubtedly unplayable at the moment is no other than Kevin De