Clasicos can easily sway the vote for players
Spain-based players dominating football's individuals awards has become the norm, but it is astonishing that every player in the Fifa/FIFPro XI for 2012 plays his football in the country.
Iker Casillas; Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Xavi, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Radamel Falcao and Cristiano Ronaldo were the players voted for and they make a glorious team on paper.
Spain is revelling in a football golden age. It is blessed with a best ever generation of home-grown players who have won the World Cup and two European championships, while at a club level Real Madrid and Barcelona have always signed the world's finest players.
You can do that when your average crowds are in the top three in the world decade after decade. It is a well trodden path which makes even more top players want to follow their idols and play for Spain's big two.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have another advantage when it comes to the awards season. Some of their own players have bemoaned the numerous clasicos, but they help when it comes to voting.
They played each other six times in the voting period, each a globally viewed advertisement for their talents.
In contrast, the two Manchester clubs met once in an underwhelming Premier League title decider at the end of April during this year's voting period. So if you are a selecting player who watches only on television, who would you choose?
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Published: January 9, 2013 04:00 AM