It’s been The Summer of George, and it continued over the weekend despite a miss in the penalty shootout that would’ve clinched the European Championship for Italy. Instead, it was Gianluigi Donnarumma who made the final-winning save on the next kick, earning himself the Player of the Tournament award in the process
Still, it’s Jorginho who’s suddenly in the Ballon d’Or conversation after his performances in the Champions League for Chelsea and the Euros for Italy over the past few months. It’s certainly been the best period of his career.
But as he readily admits it himself, Jorginho’s only real claim for that recognition is the fact he’s become only the tenth player ever to win both the major club and international European cups in the same season. That’s certainly a fantastic achievement, and one worthy of attention, but probably not quite on the level of, say, Lionel Messi, who’s become the big favorite once again after finally winning a senior trophy with Argentina. Messi dominated the Copa América, and almost single-handedly willed his nation into the final, where they took care of business against Brazil.
“We live for dreams and I will be quite honest, [the Ballon d’Or] hinges on what criteria they use. If it is down to skill, I am not the best player in the world. But if it is down to who won more trophies, there is no one who won more titles than me [this year].
“It depends on the criteria, best player or who won more titles? How do you compare to Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar? Honestly those are different characteristics, but it comes along with the criteria.”
-Jorginho; source: SporTV via ESPN Brasil
Spoiler alert: they won’t use that criteria.