West Brom benchwarmer James McClean described it as ‘humbling’ to be awarded the 2017.Ballon D’Or ahead of both Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo solely because of how much heart he showed in all of Ireland’s draws and defeats during their failed world cup qualification attempt.
Speaking by video because he was required to clean the West Brom boot room, McClean thanked the new criteria for awards like this.
“Thankfully we’re past the days where success, world titles, world beating skill and being a pioneer for sport matter any more and players like me can really make their mark by trying their best.”
“To beat champions like this, who have won everything there is to win, living symbols of inspiration as to what sport can mean, who provide joy and drama without ever bringing the game into disrepute, well it means a lot.” McClean said.
“And this time they weren’t even women.”