The Balon d’or awards comes up tonight at 7:30pm UK time. The awards organized by France Football recognizes the best footballer of the year.
Currently, the front liners for the award are Lionel Messi, Jorginho, Karim Benzema, Robert Lewandowski and N’golo Kanté but no player amongst the nominees have divided opinions like Chelsea’s Jorge Luis Frello popularly known as Jorginho.
Jorginho had a stellar 2021 as he won the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea and the Euros with Italy. The Brazilian born Italy international then remarkably completed the European treble by winning the Uefa Super Cup in August. Impressive.
Jorginho did not just win those trophies, he was also a key member of both the Chelsea and Italy squads that conquered Europe. Little wonder he was named in the team of the tournament for both the Uefa Champions League and the Euros and him getting the UEFA best player award in September further attests to the fact that Jorginho has been a very good player for both club and country.
A lot of people might not still fancy Jorginho despite all he’s done but it is a matter of fact that the Chelsea defensive midfielder is thriving in an era that’s different from other eras.
Football is now more tactical than ever and the earlier we get used to seeing players like Jorginho excel the better. He’s not a showman neither is he the best in terms of talent and athleticism but that’s no longer a prerequisite when football has gone past the era of dribbling, rainbow flicks and showmanship.
It’s no coincidence that German coaches like Thomas Tuchel, Hansi Flick, Jurgen Klopp, Julian Nagelsmann amongst others who are core adherents of the German footballing philosophy that prioritizes collective efficiency above individual efficiency are now rated as some of the best coaches in the world and matter-of-factly, the last three UEFA Champions League winning coaches are all Germans (Tuchel, Flick, Klopp). We’ve also seen the German national team that does not possess the best individual talents dominate world football.
All these go to say one thing, and that’s the fact that football is now more collective rather than individualistic and Jorginho though not a German player, is an insignia of the tactical collectivism of the modern era. Hence, he deserved the Balon d’or nomination and him winning it would be further testament to the fact.