Messi. On Monday he was crowned the best player in the world for the fourth consecutive time. It's a feat which no other player has ever achieved and nobody knows for sure whether the record will stop there. During the World Cup Finals two year ago, I had reservations about whether Messi deserved to win. But this year, I am in no doubt at all - despite EURO 2012, in which many others showed their merits while he didn't even take part. Scoring 91 goals in a calendar is simply scandalous and furthermore underlines the fact that he is on an upward path. Since he first appeared, every year he is playing better, every year he is scoring more goals. I have never seen a player with such prowess. His game may be lacking aesthetically but he exceeds in every other department. With four Ballon d'Or awards and others to come, there has never been anyone quite like him.
Del Bosque. At EURO 2012, he managed to extend the successes of the magnificent team which Luis Aragonés confected - a reward for his knowledge and modesty. I wonder what Florentino, who was also present at the ceremony, thought about it? No matter how many times he may be reincarnated, I don't think he could he could never make such quite a monumental blunder as removing this man from the club of his entire life. "We have a taxi driver driving a Ferrari" was the slogan used to cast him off. The Ferrari ended up in the hands of just about anyone, passed from hand to hand like counterfeit cash, at one point even ending up in the gutter. Today the taxi driver is a Marquis, European and world champion and Ballon d'Or winner.
Casillas. Also the world's best goalkeeper according to world football's organizing body. It might have made Mourinho cover his ears and close his eyes. He didn't see it anyway; he didn't attend the gala as he had to prepare for the Celta game. He did attend when he won though - despite having a Cup game against Atlético that same week. This time, he decided not to attend and didn't have the gallantry to tell the truth why not: that he didn't go because he couldn't be bothered, using the excuse of work, then hypocritically, going to watch his son in training. Florentino did go to the gala, not that the coach would care. And by the way, nice photo of the president with Guardiola.