Pep Guardiola slams players who target Ballon d'Or
What’s the story?
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has slammed players who target the Ballon d’Or as their primary goal. The Spaniard was quick to dismiss individual accolades as unimportant and stated that it didn’t matter to him.
While speaking ahead of City’s game against Sunderland, Guardiola said, “To see the team, the team spirit, to play better and better, the players know they depend on their team-mates, not their own performance. If the goalkeepers make a good performance it's not for the keepers it's for the team, if we score goals it's not for the strikers it's for the team, and that is what is important,” he continued.
“When I hear so many times 'I always dream of winning the Golden Ball, the Ballon d'Or', these kind of things, that is ridiculous. It makes no sense. Win the titles, make the people happy. But it is not the way it was before,” he concluded.
In case you didn’t know...
Guardiola has won 21 trophies in his career as a manager which includes six league titles, three each with Barcelona and Bayern Munich and two UEFA Champions League titles with his boyhood club. The Catalan-born manager cemented himself among football’s elite managesr with those major trophy hauls.
The heart of the matter
The Manchester City manager has stressed the importance of teams winning trophies as a collective as paramount in his latest press conference. The Catalan boss clearly feels that players often get side-tracked by their ambition to win personal accolades instead of focusing on a putting in performances for the benefit of their teams.
He further stated that it was ‘ridiculous’ for players to hunt for personal glory at the expense of their team winning trophies.
Parallels from history
Managers criticising the Ballon d’Or is not an uncommon occurrence. Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho slammed the individual awards in 2014 and said, “This kind of trophy is not good for football.” Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has also been critical of individual awards and said that such awards encourage selfishness.
Guardiola’s assessment of players seeking individual glory is completely true. Players should focus on putting in the extra mile for their teams and sacrifice their selfish motives by putting their team first in all situations.
Furthermore, winning the Ballon d’Or should be a by-product of the player’s club or country winning a major trophy. Cristiano Ronaldo himself honoured his Real Madrid and Portugal teammates after he won his fourth Ballon d’Or last year. Football will always be a team game and players must do what is for the greater good of their teams.