The annual FIFA Player of the Year awards ceremony in Zurich is a time for great reflection. It’s a time to review the best of the past year in a way that reveals the true majesty of the sport, as hosted by Ruud Gullit and Kay Murray. It’s also a time for showy displays of FIFA opulence and people in mascot costumes. It’s a time for bombastic video packages with requisite thumping soundtracks. It’s a time for Sepp Blatter to grandstand about racism and fair play, and other things that no one asked him for his opinion about. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a time for Messi to win and Ronaldo to lose (while looking extremely annoyed about it).
This was a doozy of a ceremony. Ronaldo (original) was there, making funny with the mascot of Brazil 2014, Fuleco.
Hope Solo showed up in a fly dress to present the Women’s Player of the Year Award, which went to American forward Abby Wambach over 5-time winner Marta and teammate Alex Morgan.
Messi won the men’s award for the fourth straight time, and did so while wearing this hideous polka dot tuxedo and bow tie (which was custom made for him by Dolce & Gabbana).
Turns out maybe Leo’s tux was inspired by Diego Maradona.
Ronaldo, as is tradition, was not amused.
(cap credit @soccerbyives)
All in all, it was an entirely normal FIFA ceremony. Which is to say it was really weird by any usual event standard, but hardly registered on the FIFA weirdness scale. Did I mention the capoeira dancers?
I’ll leave you with this photo, which I believe perfectly sums up the night for reasons I don’t really understand myself.