In a week that has seen the Christian festival of Epiphany come and pass, the world was reminded of the day that three very wise men from the East came and paid homage to an even more special baby boy.
Theology aside, the similarities bestowing the football world to this most sacred of Christian holidays can be drawn. For soon, very soon, three kings of football are to be paid homage and praised for their services to something even more special – the game itself.
For those who are unaware, the official FIFA Ballon d’Or winner, or in Barcelona’s case, winners, is to be decided.
The nominees include of course three of the games finest players at present, all emanating from Catalan club’s youth academy set-up, otherwise known as La Masia.
So step forward Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez, who in all playing for the same club, have given Barca the added prestige of becoming only the second club in history (after AC Milan) to provide all three finalists for the Ballon d’Or.
Choosing between the three is no easy feat. Leaving that to the so called ‘experts’ has been fraught with struggle and indecision.
Heck, even the three wise men, or (should that be contenders?) are unable as to who should rightly lift one of the sport’s most prized individual honours.
Speaking to RTVE, before a decision shall be made, last year’s winner Lionel Messi said: “Ballon D’Or? I think Xavi and Iniesta deserve it, and if they win then I will be equally happy.”
Such humility is admirable, nevertheless, the latest Castrol Rankings show that ‘the Flea’ himself was the most effective player of 2010 and so deserves to retain his crown.
Deciding just who 1; deserves it, and 2; deserves it more, has split the offices here at In The Stands firmly into three sections.
Picking between the three is like choosing between a trio of super-hot, super-cool, stand out sports cars, each with their own distinct niche quality.
In one corner you have the Lamborghini Murcielago, represented by Lionel Messi. Frighteningly quick, immaculate acceleration, handling and control of the highest order and ever improving are its unique qualities.
So distinguished is the drive that wherever it goes, it leaves its mark, and it has done so with devastating effects for several years now whilst winning world-wide recognition and fame.
In the second corner you have the Rolls-Royce Phantom, represented by Xavi. It links everything to anything, whilst harbouring a distinct style and elegance which could ever grace the roads.
Rare and priceless when owned, the value of the machine is only appreciated when not in use. Being the main means of transport for societies finest, it gives the high-rankers all they need to flaunt their stuff and live up to their sporting potential!
Lastly, there is the pale white Aston Martin DB9. Launched into the world in 2004, it has become better and better with age.
Easily compatible with the ‘big boys’ in its youth, the DB9 has proved its worth amongst the finest with a series of breathtaking performances and is rightly considered to be on par.
In fact, the aforementioned Rolls Royce Phantom, nor the Lamborghini Murcielago cannot be complete without the addition of the Aston Martin DB9, so prized an asset it has proved to be. For the record, the DB9 is emblematic of a certain Andres Iniesta.
So that is the choice facing the footballing world. Make yours. Which shall it be for the Ballon d’Or; the Lamborghini Murcielago (Messi), the Rolls Royce Phantom (Xavi), or the Aston Martin DB9 (Iniesta)? – We will find out tomorrow evening.