News, guys! France Football has ended its partnership with FIFA. This partnership, when it was in place, brought about the FIFA Ballon D’Or, as we have known it for the past seven years. Now, that agreement is over, and France Football is reinstating its original Ballon D’Or award for the world’s best footballer.
In the last seven years, there have been just two winners of this FIFA Ballon D’Or. One of them has gone as far as winning it five times. However, before FIFA and France Football decided to exchange vows, the Ballon D’Or was a separate entity. The last winner was Ricardo Kaka of Brazil. However, FIFA brought their World Player of the Year award and persuaded France Football to make it one with the Ballon D’Or. Then seven years of Messi/Ronaldo dominance ensued. Shenanigans.
Moving forward, what is the plan for the awards? The French magazine has changed the rules for selecting the winner of their award. Now, there will be a 30-man shortlist. There will only be votes from a select group of international journalists. No more votes from international team coaches and captains. Also, there will be no more three-man finalists. This is going to make the race more interesting, definitely, because now everyone in that 30-man shortlist will have an equal footing. I think the Ballon D’Or will no longer be the sole property of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo anymore after this.
One more thing, before you all go off and start abusing France Football. They will announce the winner of the award before the end of the calendar year. This means that both the UEFA Player of the Year and the Ballon D’Or will be announced in the same calendar year. If Cristiano Ronaldo wins both awards, he will have won two Ballon D’Or and the UEFA POTY in the same year. Even Messi cannot boast of that, I’m sure. So, for all CR7 fans worldwide, start praying.