I watched the whole award show so you wouldn’t have to
If we learned anything from the inaugural edition of FIFA’s The Best—an award ceremony that formalizes its split from France Football’s Ballon d’Or gala—it’s that some people believe there is no such thing as too many award shows. Literally. There is no other reason for The Best to exist. In honor of all four people who thought this ceremony was a good idea, we will be recapping it in our own yet-to-be-named awards ceremony. Drumroll, maestro.
Best green carpet livestream MC who cannot differentiate women
There is little competition for this award because Football Weekly’s James “AC Jimbo” Richardson was flying solo on the green carpet livestream and seemed to be laboring under the impression that a great many women were Eva Longoria. If regular sidekick Barry Glendenning had been present, blame for such an outcome could be more diffuse.
Best carbon copy cloner
Above is the FIFPRO XI, which you may recognize from such places as last year’s FIFPRO XI or El Clasico. A triumph of the imagination, it is not. Its participants are all good players—that much cannot really be denied—but the rote quality of the affair makes this XI feel dull.
Also: Why isn’t the FIFPRO Women’s XI featured on the show?
Best hostage video
Barcelona could not attend this prestigious gala because they—apparently unlike other teams—had a match to prepare for. As such, it was basically a night out with the Real Madrid. Andres Iniesta appeared via Skype on behalf of the Barcelona players, and it sure looked like he was being held captive instead of preparing for a match. In a sense, all of The Best was hostage to FIFA’s bad taste and Ronaldo’s massive ego, mind you.
Best Vegas residency outfit
Best dressed HAB [husband and boyfriend]
This is Mr. Carli Lloyd. We couldn’t be bothered to learn his name. Anyhow, he’s wearing a good look that is only missing a pocket square and proper tuxedo pants. We can forgive those things because being an athlete’s partner is not actually a newsworthy job. He presumably has other things to do with his life.
Best pole vaulter
You might be wondering why there is an award for the best pole vaulter at FIFA’s The Best ceremony. Naturally, the answer is that FIFA is pathologically incapable of putting the spotlight on female soccer players. The woman in the above pair, then, is two-time Olympic gold medalist Yelena Gadzhievna Isinbayeva, who is an ambassador for Russia’s World Cup. She had plenty of time to prepare for this event because she was banned from last summer’s Olympics due to Russia’s doping issues even though she had never failed a drug test.
Best example of institutional inertia
FIFA has a long and inglorious record of nominating whatever women men can name for its awards. To wit, Marta was once again nominated. So was U.S. coach Jill Ellis, who did not have a good year. They, like many women before them, are talented individuals made to look silly by FIFA’s utter ignorance.
This award, however, goes to FIFA’s best women’s player of the year, Carli Lloyd. Even she sounded shocked that she won. Earlier, she had to parry co-host Eva Longoria’s statement that “2016 was such an outstanding year for you.” Basically, FIFA’s The Best didn’t take place in Zurich; it took place in an alternate universe where the U.S. women’s team was all-conquering and also had no new players since the World Cup.
Best example of a man in an a cappella group doing air guitar
This doesn’t deserve an award. That’ll only encourage him. We’re just putting this picture in to record that it happened. We’re sorry.
Best Eurovision wannabe
This guy. Whoever he is. Allegedly his name is Julian Perretta. Whatever.
There is only one Falcao, and it’s the Brazilian futsal star. It was nice to see him win the lifetime achievement award. Now the world waits to see how his speech baits the President-elect.
Credit to Puskás award-winner Mohd Faiz Subri of Malaysia for delivering his speech in English. That, however, entailed a minute of awkward silence as he tried to pull up the text on his phone. This is one of the few areas where footballers could learn from high school debate teams: index cards are fail-proof.
Best grasp of reality
Look, we know you’re shocked that Cristiano Ronaldo is being credited with having a grasp on reality, but hear us out. He correctly noted that “This award for me is the first time” at the first annual FIFA The Best awards. Very perceptive.