Good day to you, in honor of last night’s Golden Globe ceremony and soccer’s status as “the global game” here are the results of the first annual RTB Golden Balls:
Best Actor: Luis Suarez
A supremely talented player with a very unique relationship to gravity. When most players are tripped they fall down. When Suarez is tripped he usually falls upward several feet before crashing back to earth. When battling a defender for a 50/50 ball anywhere outside the penalty area Suarez has the balance and strength to not only win the physical challenge but to also come away with the ball controlled at his feet. However, when Suarez sets foot inside the penalty area it’s as if conventional physics go out the window and if a defender so much as breathes on him he’s suddenly transformed into a chain sawed oak tree and he will crash slowly and majestically to the earth.
Oddly enough Luis Suarez was also nominated three more times in this category. Once for his role as the delusional martyr in The British Media is Out to Get Me , the clueless foreigner in I Didn’t Realize I Was So Racist , and who could forget his dramatic turn as a fledgling cannibal in Chelsea Defenders Are Yummy. Other nominees include Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj, Gareth Bale, and Neymar. Better(?) luck next year guys.
Best Picture Comedy or Musical: Manchester United
I suppose this is a sad drama if you’re a United fan, but if you’re a neutral it’s pretty hilarious. West Brom, Newcastle, Swansea, Tottenham, and Everton have all already won a game AT Old Trafford this season. United lost on the road in the Capital One Cup semifinals to Sunderland (currently 2nd to last in the league), they were bounced out of the FA Cup at home in a loss to Swansea, and every time you read about who their potential January transfer saviors might be you can’t but help but laugh. England’s Daily Mail ran a story that United would have 200million pounds to spend, a ridiculous sum of money considering their perilous financial status. Even if the 200 million sum is legitimate the players linked with moves to United are almost always laughable, I hate to break it to you but Cristiano Ronaldo is not coming back anytime soon (likely not ever). Cesc Fabregas is not going to give up sunny Barcelona for rainy Manchester ever (and I do mean ever). Gundogen, Baines, and Costa are a very likely nope, nope, and nope (respectively).
They have problems at every position on the pitch besides goalkeeper and yet they’re clueless about how to fix any of those problems. Even if transfer saviors do arrive they still have to play Chelsea and Arsenal in London and Manchester City and Liverpool at the currently less than intimidating Old Trafford.
Best Originial Screenplay: Athletico Madrid
Athletico Madrid went out on a limb with their script for this season. They went against every convention and somehow it’s still working out for them. Ordinarily this would be a script for a film entitled “How to Fail in Spain”, but their originality, coupled with their success, has won them this year’s award. If you were going to write the script for how to win it wouldn’t read as follows:
Step 1 – Sell your best player.
Step 2 – Don’t replace him with anyone, simply let a player who before last season had never scored more than 9 goals in a year replace your superstar.
Step 3 – Compete against Barcelona and Real Madrid with a squad that costs roughly one fifth of what those two giants spend.
Step 4 – Refuse to “come back to earth” no matter how many times conventional wisdom says you should.
They sold Radamel Falcao to AS Monaco. They then replaced with him with no one, deciding to simply let Diego Costa loose to score 23 goals in 23 appearances. They’ve beaten Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, held Barcelona scoreless at home, and have only lost once in league play this season. All of the pundits who said that the Champions League would finally expose them were proven wrong when Athletico advanced to the knockout stages by topping their group and not losing a match. Athletico even have a favorable last 16 matchup with an AC Milan team currently 11th in Italy’s Serie A.
So score one for the originality and going against all the modern clichés.
Best Director, Comedy or Musical:
David Moyes takes over for as bona fide a managerial legend as there’s ever been in soccer and his first order of business was to ignore the facts of how important a manager is to a team. Sir Alex Ferguson was able to comfortably win the league last season with an aging and suspect defense, an aging and overachieving midfield, and an aging and fragile (mentally = Wayne Rooney, physically = Robin Van Persie) strike force.
The second order of business was apparently to do everything besides properly evaluate the squad he was inheriting. So instead of buying a player (or five) to improve his aging and over achieving squad he fails to make any early purchases, despite having all summer to do so. When he finally realizes that his squad is not really all that good and now that their managerial talisman is gone they’re not the same band of overachievers, he starts to panic. So he buys Marouane Fellaini (cue the laughter), and he buys him on deadline day for a fee of about ten million dollars more than he would’ve cost two weeks earlier if Mr. Moyes had just paid Fellaini’s release clause (more laughter).
Mr. Moyes then takes a look at his squad and decides perhaps Fellaini alone isn’t enough of a talent injection (certainly giggle worthy at least) and targets Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Herrera. From here the story goes from cerebral comedy and heads into the land of farce. Depending on who you believe, either three lawyers from a Spanish law firm or possibly just three regular guys not affiliated with anyone entered the Athletic Bilbao offices and tried to get the paperwork for the transfer completed. Read all about it here: They’re Wearing Suits and they Say They’re with Man Utd, They must be legit The player himself publicly stated several times that he never wanted to go to Manchester United, but apparently that’s besides the point.
Moyes then realizes that his left back, while talented, is approaching his mid thirties and he has no replacement. He tries to sign Fabio Coentrao but can’t be bothered to fill out the paperwork in time (more “LOL’s”). The deal is voided when the FA doesn’t buy United’s excuse of “our fax machine was jammed”. You can’t make this stuff up. This year’s Manchester United season is hilarious, as long as you’re a neutral, a hater, or a red with a sense of humor.