The Golden Foot award is an international award given to active football players of at least 29 years of age, who stands out for their athletic achievements (both as individuals and team players) and for their personality. This award can only be won once.
The international prize is given every year to the game’s greatest in the Principality of Monaco under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II and promoted by World Champions Club and the Tourism Office of Monaco.
Ten nominees are chosen by a panel of international journalists based on the criteria that they are at least 29 years of age and still playing. The 10 names this year have been chosen by the Golden Foot jury, composed of 58 journalists representing sports media all over the world.
In a ceremony headlined by last year's winner Francesco Totti, the AS Roma captain, the following candidates were announced as nominees for the 2011 Golden Foot:
David Beckham (LA Galaxy, England)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus, Italy)
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, Spain)
Didier Drogba (Chelsea, Ivory Coast)
Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan, Cameroon)
Ryan Giggs (Manchester United, Wales)
Carles Puyol (Barcelona, Spain)
Raúl González Blanco (Real Madrid, Spain)
Xavi Hernández (Barcelona, Spain)
Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan, Argentina).
Winner is selected by an online poll at goldenfoot.com where anyone can vote. Football fans have the chance to vote for the player they deem is worthy of the award until October 7. The award ceremony will be hosted on October 10 in Monte Carlo.
I, of course, have casted my vote already for my favorite Raul Gonzalez Blanco. He has been a nomine several times already but the nearest he got for the award was in 2009 where he was in 2nd place to winner Ronaldinho. My voting for Raul is not simply a matter of favorites but at age 34 (he turns 34 today June 27, 2011) he is something else to behold. After 16 years playing loyally for Real Madrid, he left the whites to wear the Schalke 04 team wear and gave it his all.
For me he has always been playing good but I guess Real Madrid’s coaches and managers no longer saw his value after getting the much-expensive young players. Though the new Real Madrid coach Mourinho wanted him to continue with the team but Raul no longer wanted to spend another season being the 3rd or 4th choice striker when he knew he can still deliver a good performance in another place. The world saw a recharged Raul when he played with Schalke 04 and the Germans fell in love with El Angel del Madrid. He has always been a favorite with fans and that certainly continued in Germany and more so when on May 21, 2011, his first year with the Royal Blues, they were able to lift the DFB Cup when they won over MSV Duisburg in Berlin. That is the reason why I think he deserves the 2011 Golden Foot award.
To see his profile and vote for him, click here.
PS. Happy 34th birthday, Raul!