13 Jan 2015

"Diego Godin's FIFA Team Of The Year snub was a farce" - Simeone

There were plenty of laughs thrown up by this year’s Ballon d’Or gala. There was the look on Lionel Messi’s face when he had to sit through a tribute from coach Luis Enrique, there was the look on Thierry Henry’s face when Cristiano Ronaldo let out his primal scream, and there was the moment when FIFA named the FIFPro team of the year and David Luiz was in ahead of Diego Godin.

The battle-worn Uruguayan who failed to make the team of the year despite and incredible 2014 might be overlooked on the world stage but no one at Atletico Madrid is held in higher esteem by coach Diego Simeone.

Last year when he knew he was going to lose players from his league winning squad he accepted it. There was only one condition – Godin must not be sold.

He marshalled one of the meanest defences in Europe last season, showing the sort of leadership his coach demands from his most experienced players and he scored one of the most important goals in Atletico Madrid’s history.

On the last day of last season when Barcelona took the lead against Atletico to move ahead of them in the title race it was Godin who rose unmarked to head home a corner at the start of the second half to put Simeone's side level. He wheeled away in celebration – kissing the badge in front of celebrating supporters – and made sure that the team did not concede in what was left of the game.

It was the sixth time Barcelona had played Atletico in what was to be their league-winning campaign and Barcelona's Messi-led forward line had failed to get the better of Simeone’s team on any of the previous occasions. That was largely down to Godin and now they had won the league because of his goal.

He scored again in the Champions League final although ultimately it was not enough to see them lift the European Cup. He then went off to Brazil and got the goal against Italy that made sure Uruguay qualified for the last 16.

All that apparently doesn’t carry much weight with FIFPro. They preferred Luiz, who was part of a defence that shipped seven goals against Germany. There is no accounting for some people’s tastes.

Credit: Pete Jenson/SportsMail

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