The 1st Annual Ballon d’Ata Awards

Today I got to thinking that the Ballon d’Or wasn’t flawed so much because it was a popularity contest, but rather because it didn’t have awards by position. Goals are very salient, and it’s can be tough to compare skills across positions. Lionel Messi may be a once-in-a-lifetime player as a forward. But is Virgil van Dijk just as significant as a center back? By the way, who’s the best fullback of all time – Paolo Maldini? He never finished above third in the Ballon d’Or voting, and there may actually be less debate about his supremacy than there is about Messi’s….
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Who are the most skillful coaches in Europe?

It’s been a while since I posted anything here about coaches. I have a lot of love for coaches, even those with whom I haven’t always agreed. Their job is tough, especially when they have to deal with recruiting, tactics, man-management, the media, and even renting the training pitch. Some coaches get paid a ton, but most of them don’t. They all endure crushing pressure and huge emotional swings. The only “bad” coaches are the ones who are cruel, prejudiced, or lazy. But there are still discernible differences in skill. There’s an adage in soccer that only a small number of coaches can make a…
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