Will come into effect from the 2022 edition
The Ballon d’Or is considered to be one of the most prestigious prizes in football, with some iconic names having won the award multiple times down the years, but the criteria for claiming that particular trophy is being tweaked by France Football for the current year and beyond.
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was the last man to land the award, with the Barcelona legend, now at Paris Saint-Germain, being recognised in 2021 as the best player on the planet for the seventh time in his illustrious career.
Eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo has taken top honours on five occasions in the past, while Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten all have three successes to their name. They were all judged on the basis of their efforts across a calendar year, but that is about to change, with a new system based on performance
within a single season being implemented.
France Football, which has been handing out the award since 1956 and introduced the Ballon d’Or Feminin in 2018, has revealed that four key changes will be made to the process of identifying the world’s finest talent.
By season, not by year
Up to and including the 2021 edition, the award was awarded on the basis of the players’ performances during a calendar year, from January to December.
However, from now on, the prize will be given to the best player of the season, from August to July. This means that those who vote for the next edition can take into account the Women’s European Championship, which takes place from July 6 to 31, 2022, but not the 2022 Men’s World Cup in Qatar.
This means that Messi is unlikely to be considered for the 2022 Ballon d’Or, as PSG have been eliminated in the Champions League’s last 16 and he has struggled to deliver in Ligue 1 so far this season.
Specialists to put together the lists
The editorial staff of France Football and L’Equipe were the ones who were choosing the 30 Ballon d’Or candidates, as well as the 20 for the Yashin Trophy and 20 for the Kopa Trophy. However, from now on, more specialists will participate in the process, including Ballon d’Or ambassador Didier Drogba and the voters
who came closer to getting the last edition’s results rights.
For the next edition, it will be the Vietnamese journalist Truong Anh Ngoc, the New Zealander Gordon Watson and the Czech Karolina Hlavackova who will take part in the process.
Representatives of as many as 170 countries participated in last edition’s voting, but this is about to change, as representatives of only the top 100 countries in the FIFA ranking (and the top 50 for women’s football) will be able to vote for now on.
After stressing that the Ballon d’Or is an individual award, L’Equipe makes clear that voters should firstly focus mainly on the players’ individual performances over collective achievements, which will also be taken into consideration, with the third criterion being the players’ ability and sense of fair play.
– With goal.com input