The Best: How the World Looked the Last Time Ronaldo or Messi Didn’t Win FIFA’s Top Award

7 min


It was 2007 the last time that neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo won FIFA’s top individual global award – be it the FIFA World Player of the Year, FIFA Ballon d’Or, or Best FIFA Men’s Player – in any of it various guises, with Kaka the last man to rule the football world.

That is a decade of dominance at the elite level, but one that is under threat in 2018.

That is because Messi isn’t even on the final three-man shortlist for a FIFA award for the first time since 2006, while Ronaldo faces serious competition from Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah to retain his crown.

In the modern world where everything moves to quickly and hyperbole rules, 2007 was a very, very long time ago and so much has changed…  

9. Kylian Mbappe Was 8-Years-Old

He might well be winning the top individual prizes in the coming years, but Kylian Mbappe was still three days shy of his ninth birthday when Kaka was handed the FIFA World Player of the Year award on December 20, 2007.

Since, then he’s become the second most expensive player in history and won the World Cup.  

8. Spain Were World Football’s Underachievers

Until winning Euro 2008 kicked off a run of international dominance, Spain were just as guilty as England for being world football’s great underachievers.

Having won an early European Championship in 1964, the sleeping giant often failed to live up to their potential at various times, with Euro 2008 at last breaking a 44-year drought that was quickly followed by a maiden World Cup in 2010 and another European crown in 2012.

Now, a new generation of Spanish players is tipped for even more glory in the coming years.  

7. Social Media Was Only Just Taking Hold

We’d had four years of MySpace back in 2007, but Facebook was only just catching on for a global audience after Mark Zuckerburg had launched the website from his college dorm room at Harvard University only three years earlier.

Twitter was a thing, but only just, and it wouldn’t blow up until 2009.

Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder…? Come on.  

6. iPhones Joined the Smartphone Revolution

Although primitive by today’s standards, smartphones have existed since the late 1990s. But it wasn’t until 2007 and beyond that the revolution really began and the devices we now take for granted started to become commonplace.

Apple released its first generation iPhone in June 2007 and it was two years later in 2009 that Samsung produced its first iteration of the Galaxy.  

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5. Donald Trump Was Just a Rich Guy From TV

11 years ago, the closest Donald Trump had got to becoming President of the United States was a line in an episode of The Simpsons aired in 2000 that jokingly predicted a future in which his time in office had tanked the country’s economy.

Fast forward to 2016 and that future became an unlikely reality. In 2007, he was mainly known as that rich guy from TV who fronted The Apprentice.  

4. People Still Actually Watched TV

These days, television consumption is all about on demand and streaming. Netflix, Amazon and catch up are taking over. Certainly with regard to the YouTube, staying tuned in with ‘vloggers’ has become the hit thing for Millenials and Generation Z-ers.

When was the last time you sat down to watch a television programme on a real TV at the precise time when it was originally on?  

3. The Big Bang Theory Was Brand New

In December 2007, a new show broadcast on CBS called ‘The Big Bang Theory’ was only a few short months into its debut season. 

All these years later, Dr. Sheldon Cooper and co. are still on the air, with the current series of one of the most popular sit-coms in television history set to be the final one.

Another CBS comedy called ‘How I Met Your Mother’ was into its third year, but in late 2007 we were still five-and-half-years from learning who the mother was, and six-and-a-half years away from one of the most eagerly anticipated and yet disappointing TV finales in recent memory.  

2. The Global Financial Crisis Hadn’t Hit

The world was plunged into financial turmoil in September 2008 when the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the United States triggered an international banking crisis, the full effects of which have still not worn off to this day.

The world was a simpler and more affordable place in 2007.  

1. Brexit…Where to Even Begin?

Brexit, that thing that some people convince 52% of British voters was a good thing with mistruths and false information, was still a distant pipedream for Euro-sceptics in 2007.

The Europe question had been a point of debate among UK politicians for years, but never anything more.

In 2018, Britain is standing on the brink of economic suicide for the sake of those all-important blue passports and taking back sovereignty that had never been lost.

What was that about 2007 being a simpler time?  

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