Ronaldo's A Show Off, Gerrard's The Best - Guus Hiddink

Tsar Hiddink believes his colleagues were fooled by hype, glamour and a fancy haircut when voting for the best player on the planet...

To most observers, Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo was the obvious choice for the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year award.

The Portuguese star netted 42 goals in all competitions as he helped the Red Devils champions of England and Europe, and even those - and there are many - who despise him as a person cannot overlook his footballing exploits of last year.

Russia boss Guus Hiddink, however, reckons the rest of the international game's coaches and captains were duped by the 23-year-old's flashy style and magazine-cover appearance.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is a good-looking footballer, he looks fit and, oh yes, his hair is always in place. But him winning the award is too much about glamour," Hiddink said in The Daily Mail.

Some have suggested that Lionel Messi could have pipped Ronaldo, due to his performances for Barcelona in the second half of the year and his success at the Olympics with Argentina last summer.

The Blaugrana sensation polled second in the award, though, while Fernando Torres took out third after a brilliant debut season with Liverpool.

But nor does Hiddink think either of these two young superstars deserved to be crowned the greatest player on the planet, for he believes Torres' skipper at Anfield should have got the nod.

"I very much preferred (Steven) Gerrard. He has superb technical and tactical qualities and I admire his spirit and attitude on the pitch," the Dutchman said.

"It has everything to do with his passion for the game and my passion for football. He is a player who fans can identify themselves with and a man who carries the love for his club on his club badge.

"There is not another player in the world who combines all those qualities. He is the type of player who appeals so much more to me than Cristiano Ronaldo.

"Of course, Ronaldo entertains the crowds and has great skills. But it is too much glamour and show. Gerrard, Barcelona's Xavi and Messi are not as much focused on themselves. They focus on the team."

No prizes for guessing who Hiddink's top three were, then.

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