A star-studded cast attended this year’s Game of the People Awards in London’s Leicester Square, and there were some surprises, with Ronaldo and Messi both being snubbed by the judges. The shock winner of the Game of the People Impact Award, given to the player who has made the most influence on 2014, be it positive or negative, was none other than Luis Suarez.
Luiz Suarez commanded more column inches than virtually every other player in 2014. It is easy to give an award to the world’s best player – it would undoubtedly go to Ronaldo or Messi – but the GOTP award highlights the good, the bad and the ugly. In this case, Suarez would fit nicely into all three descriptions! A great player, a superb finisher, but clearly flawed. Nevertheless, he’s made a massive impact on 2014.
Similarly, Germany will scoop most awards in 2014 because they won the World Cup. But Gamba Osaka won all three prizes in Japan this year and not many clubs have achieved that in 2014. Atletico Madrid run them a close second in the voting – any team that breaks the Real-Barca strangehold deserves credit.
As much as we like Ancelotti, he’s a quiet fellow in the dugout. The most visible and animated coach of the year has been Atletico Madrid’s Simeone, and that’s why he won the Technical Area Award. Mourinho is favourite to win in 2015.
There’s no competition in this award – Germany’s destruction of the host nation was one of the most startling games in World Cup history. It will take Brazil decades to get over. And it firmly set Germany up as World champions elect.
The Pak Doo-Ik Stuck in a Moment Award
Steven Gerrard (Liverpool and England)
Gerrard has been a stalwart for Liverpool in every sense of the word. But too often his gaffes have overshadowed so much good work. His slip-up against Chelsea at Anfield last season will forever be remembered. Gerrard will become a terrace song for the next umpteen years. If any moment defined the destination of the Premier in 2013-14, it was this game. And Gerrard will come up against Demba Ba again when Besiktas visit Anfield in the Europa League.
Game of the People doubled its previous two years’ hit rates in 2014. Around 40,000 people look at our site. We also completed our 500th article in 2014 and were republished in over a dozen publications and web-sites. Moreover, around 20 football clubs reproduce our content in their matchday programmes. We visited the following clubs in 2014: Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, Walsall, Colchester, Shrewsbury, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, York City, Dagenham, Portsmouth, Exeter City, Hitchin Town, Maidstone United, Dorchester Town, Arundel, Thetford, Dartford, FC Romania, Ajax Amsterdam, Paris St. Germain, Urawa Red Diamonds, Frem Copenhagen, KV Oostende, Union St. Gilloise, Ferencvaros and Vasas Budapest.
It’s been a great year for Game of the People. Thank you for your support.