Monday, December 6, 2010

Golden Trial Balloons

Today's news in the world of Jedi Soccer is about trial baloons.  Our first tidbit comes from the Land of Rumour: according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Argentine soccer legend Maradonna is planning a visit to Iran with an eye towards accepting an offer to coach the Iranian national soccer team.  If this is true (and remember, Ahmadinejad has a history of transparent lies), then it would seem that the Argentine soccer great will do anything for enough money.  Worryingly, Maradonna has done or said nothing to discourage the speculation surrounding his alleged pending visit to Iran.

Why Maradonna would even think about working for this disgusting regime is unfathomable.  Perhaps the Iranian's have developed a new process for snorting uranium.  We shall have to see.

Meanwhile, in an altogether more positive development, today FIFA announced its short list of candidates for the Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) & FIFA Player of the Year award.  On the list are no less than three Barca players: Lionel Messi (again, of course), and also Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. 

This is only the second time that three players from a single team have been nominated for the same award-- the last time this happened was in 1989 when AC Milan was in its glory days.  This year will also be the first time that the French Golden Ball award and the Player of the Year award are merged and given as a single trophy.  Although he deserves it, Messi Wan Kenobi was last year's Player of the Year winner, and so it is unlikely he will be voted the award twice in a row.  However, both Xavi and Iniesta are deserving candidates, given their prowess with Barca and their successful World Cup campaign.  Having never received the award before, Xavi is probably the odds-on favorite.

So there you have today's trial ballons: Maradona to coach Iran, and Xavi Hernandez for FIFA Player of the Year.  Too bad there isn't an award for 'Biggest Sellout," because I know at least one former great player who is a candidate for that award too, depending on who he decides to take his paycheck from.  We shall see.