Real Madrid and Spain defender Sergio Ramos claims that national teammate Andres Iniesta would have had won two Ballons d’or if he was Brazilian.
In Brazil, players embellish their names with ‘ho’ at the end. Such was the case for Brazil superstar Ronaldinho and Ramos believed that playing with a more flamboyant name could have seen the Barca midfielder win more individual awards.
Iniesta finished in the top three of the ballon d’or on two occasions, in 2010 and 2012. He was hugely influential in Barca’s all-conquering first season under Pep Guardiola where they won six trophies with Iniesta most memorably scoring a last-gasp goal against Chelsea in the semifinal clash against Chelsea. He then conjured a late goal in the World Cup final to hand Spain the coveted title in 2010. However, Lionel Messi’s presence meant that the spot light was not always on Barcelona’s ‘pale knight’ Iniesta.
At 33, the midfielder is set to announce a move to the Chinese Super League after 16 trophy-laden seasons with Barca, winning 31 trophies. He also won the Euro twice the World Cup with Spain.
"If Andres was called Andresinho, he would have two Ballons d'Or," he said after Madrid's 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.
Even France Football have formally apologised to Andres Iniesta for having never bestowed the Barcelona midfielder with the Ballon d'Or during his career.
The French magazine have published a message entitled 'Forgive Us, Andres' in which editor Pascal Ferre expresses his deep regret that Iniesta was never given the prestigious award.
“This is an act of homage. For us, (Iniesta) wasn't just a player, he was the player. His generosity, team play and altruism has certainly deprived him of an even more majestic recognition (the Ballon d'Or). Iniesta is one of the great absences when it comes to Ballon D'or winners. This is painful to us. We can only hope that a divine performance at the World Cup helps us to repair this democratic anomaly,” Ferre lamented.