Ballsy Banter Roll Of Honour 2012: Player of the Year

December 21, 2012 in Awards

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We come to our fifth day, and it’s the big one. The category that sorts the men from the boys, the people that have risen above the rest to have the best year of their respective careers.

This category, is ‘Player of the Year’.

Let’s see who our esteemed panel have chosen in this instalment of this year’s ‘Roll Of Honour’.


Matty Deller 

Falcao - Atletico Madrid

Goals win games. This man scores goals by the cruise ship-load. Therefore, this man wins games by simply stepping foot on the football pitch.

Falcao bagged 36 goals last season  -  the record for a player in their debut season in Atleti colours. This season he has continued the rich vein of form, scoring two hat-tricks in his first two competitive games this season. He’s  breaking records left and right - scoring five goals in a single game, against Deportivo. The most natural goalscorer in the world today, his adaptability to any situation and his form this year makes him the best out and out striker of the past five years - and my player of 2012.


 Farhat Raza 

Lionel Messi - FC Barcelona

A very straightforward choice. Messi is the best player on the planet, he has been for the last few years, and this year was no different. Messi is simply unmatched. Ronaldo, Falcao, van Persie, Pirlo, Casillas - they all had great years, their best yet. Their best is Messi’s normal. Every single week he is magnificent, consistently brilliant and now beyond compliments. It’s not the 80-something goals which make him special. It’s those impossibly mazy dribbles, the ball stuck to his boot, his balance untainted, effortlessly devastating .  Messi is the best player I have ever seen play and he further cemented that this year - therefore, Messi is my Player of the Year.


Matt Harrison 

Jordan Rhodes - Blackburn Rovers

It’s very hard to narrow down this to one player, so I’m going for Jordan Rhodes. Not only did he score 40+ goals for Huddersfield this year, he also selflessly laid himself out as a sacrifice for the club by going to the hell hole that is Blackburn in exchange for £8m. He now has all the chicken he can eat and Huddersfield have more cash than they know what to do with. Last I heard they’d spunked £100,000 on hiring a massive bouncy castle for the Christmas party.


Joseph Kingsley-Nyinah 

Lionel Messi - FC Barcelona

You’d better not have been expecting someone different.

Breaking scoring records for fun at the age of 25, the Argentinian has put down a marker for him to be considered around the greatest of all time. It was a year light on awards for his side, but I imagine that’ll be something he works on next year.

Just a hunch.


Manish Doolabh 

Robin van Persie - Arsenal/Manchester United

The guy scores. A lot. And regardless of whether people say Man Utd paid too much for an injury-prone striker who’s too old, if he’s the difference between Man Utd winning the title back, Utd fans won’t be too worried. In the latter half of last season he was in the form of his life, digging Arsenal out of many a hole, as well as breaking numerous records.  He also finished as the Premier League’s top scorer last season too. After signing for Man Utd it seemed like it was business as usual, having to dig them out of some sticky situations too. He’s played 21 times for Utd and has netted 15, as well as being joint top scorer in the league. In total, he’s scored 37 goals for club(s) and country in 2012 (courtesy of @persie_stats). Not many in better form at the moment. Messi’s kinda good too.


Jonathan Holdstock 


 Lionel Messi - FC Barcelona

There can only be one real winner here right? Lionel Messi. I know it’s quite a boring choice but come on, the man has scored 86 goals in one calendar year. Eighty six! That is a phenomenal achievement. Yes he didn’t win La Liga, the Champions League and cant score against Chelsea, but in every game that I have seen him play in, he has been fantastic. There are a lot of people who say that he is the best that there has ever been, it is difficult to disagree with them based on current form.


Ben Said Scott 

Andrea Pirlo - Juventus

Outside of the two obvious contenders Pirlo shone brightest. Not only did he star in a Juventus team that went undefeated in the league last season, but he capped it all off with being the player of the tournament for Italy during Euro 2012 - leading an average Italian side all the way to the final of the tournament with his ability to control the entire tempo of the game without moving more than 5 metres outside of the centre-circle. He hasn’t started this season badly either, with Juventus doing well in both Serie-A and the Champions League.


Dan Lloyd 

Lionel Messi - FC Barcelona

Could there be anyone else, really? Lionel Messi has stolen this crown, once again. He has surpassed Pele’s goal tally in one year, and at the time of writing is one behind Gerd Muller, which, if he beats, means he has scored the most goals in a year, in history. 25 years old, already one of the biggest legends in the history of the game. Incomparable.


Aman Pathiara 

Robin van Persie - Manchester United/Arsenal

I know, I know, this is going to make me look biased, but in reality, the Dutch hit-man has had a phenomenal 2012, finally hitting the heights he’d been expected to at Arsenal. I’ve always maintained that RVP was top-class, even at Arsenal, and 2012 was the year when RVP managed to deliver on my claim. A brilliant 37 goals in 48 appearances made RVP the hottest striker across Europe (Messi and Ronaldo are not strikers), being heralded as the main reason for Arsenal’s Champions League qualification. Arsenal fans were justifiably upset to see van Persie join rivals Manchester United for £24m, especially after seeing the Dutchman make a flying start to his United career. Realistically, how many players do you know that could leave one starring role to immediately revel in another one? Messi and Ronaldo are obvious choices, but my heart says Robin van Persie, especially after that free-kick against City.


Well, here is our shortlist for ‘Player of the Year’, and a clear favourite has emerged - do you disagree with our choices? Is there any players that we have missed? Let us know!

Don’t forget we will be finalizing each category in the ‘Ballsy D’Or’ in our first all-new Ballsy Banter podcast at the start of 2013.