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Soccerpinion: Why Chris Baird is the best player on the planet

February 27, 2012
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Stoke City v Fulham - Britannia Stadium

Consider this a retort to the inimitable Brett Hamm’s wonderful recent opinion piece; “Why Mario Balotelli is the best player on the planet”. Now as we all know, the usual suggestions for the best player in the world, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, are simply too good to be considered. I mean, who wants to see someone plunder 53 goals in a single season? Talk about a yawnfest.

No, we need a perfectly imperfect hero. Someone who the common man can relate to. Hamm of course throws up (no double meaning intended) Manchester City’s flawed genius Mario Balotelli as his example. But what he fails to realise is that Super Mario still has more talent in the gap between his front teeth than your average schmo has in their entire body, instantly ruling him out of contention for the title of world’s greatest.

We need someone ugly, seemingly bereft of talent yet who displays the occasional glimpse of quality to make him worthy of being called the best player in the world. Now I know by now that you all know where I’m going with this (possibly because you’ve read the title), as there really is only one answer. Following on in the fine tradition of men from that large island to the west of Great Britain who are jacks of all trades, masters of none. He is the successor to the prototype John O’Shea; none other than Fulham fullback come defensive midfielder, the one and only Chris Baird.

Consistently putting in performances that make you wonder quite how he has managed to con his way into a contract with a Premier League club, cunning Chris has decided to hide away his skills as the world’s greatest player from the general public on all but a small handful of occasions. It only took one performance, though, to cement his position at the top of the pile. The day he did the task that for years everyone has been demanding of the great pretender to the throne, Lionel Messi. The day he grabbed a brace of screamers on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke.

As we all know, the only criteria required to take the title of the best player in the world is a midweek performance in winter at the Britannia. Chris Baird has managed this with his two pile drivers back in late 2010, one high into the left hand top corner from open play, the other a low free kick in the opposite corner. Ultimate versatility shown from the ultimate player. Lionel Messi, meanwhile, is conspicuous by his lack of performances at the pottery, in fact he has never scored there in his entire career to date. It doesn’t matter how many times you fanny about strolling past defenders at the Camp Nou. Until you’ve driven a couple past Asmir Begovic, you’re nothing.

So I salute you, Chris Baird, for you truly are the people’s champ. For perfection is boring and blah blah blah whatever drivel Brett Hamm spouted [insert paraphrase from suitably wanky indie darling songwriter or somesuch]. Here endeth the argument and the article.

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