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Four key Changes to the Ballon d’Or

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Football France makes changes to the Ballon d'Or. Photo: Euro Sport
  • Four major changes have been made to the Ballon d’Or ahead of this year’s vote following Lionel Messi’s controversial win in 2021
  • Lionel Messi won the 2021 Ballon d’Or for the seventh time 
  • Ballon d’Or ambassador Didier Drogba has also been included in the process 
  • Voting will henceforth be based on individual performance without considering players’ previous performances 

Ballon d’Or organizers France Football have decided to make four key changes to the process for the 2022 award. 

The changes come after Lionel Messi’s controversial win over Robert Lewandowski in 2021. 

sporting news

Lionel Messi won the 2021 Ballon d’Or. Photo: Sporting News

In November, Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time, defeating Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Chelsea midfielder Jorginho. 

After helping Argentina win the Copa America and Barcelona win the Copa del Rey, Messi was presented with the award. 

In 2018, France Football introduced the Ballon d’Or Feminin, which was won by Barcelona midfielder Alexia Putellas last year. 

Journalists, captains, and coaches vote for the best men’s and women’s players, as well as the Kopa Trophy for the best player under the age of 21 and the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper. 

It’s been going on in one form or another since 1956, but the organizers have decided to make some changes to the way it’s done now. 

The prize, however, will now be awarded to the best player of the season, from August to July.  

This means that those voting for the next edition can consider the Women’s European Championship, which will take place from July 6 to July 31, 2022, but not the Men’s World Cup, which will be held in Qatar in 2022. 

Changes made to the Ballon d'Or

Messi has won seven Ballon d’Or’s in total. Photo: ADN America

 1. BY YEAR, NOT BY SEASON 

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.

The prize, however, will now be awarded to the best player of the season, from August to July. 

 This means that those voting for the next edition can consider the Women’s European Championship, which will take place from July 6 to July 31, 2022, but not the Men’s World Cup, which will be held in Qatar in 2022. 

2. CHANGES TO THE SHORTLISTING PROCESS

The 30 Ballon d’Or candidates and the 20 for the Yashin Trophy, and the 20 for the Kopa Trophy were chosen by the editorial staff of France Football and L’Equipe.  

However, more specialists will be involved in the process from now on, including Ballon d’Or ambassador Didier Drogba and the voters. They were on the verge of obtaining the rights to the previous edition’s results. 

The Vietnamese journalist Truong Anh Ngoc, the New Zealander Gordon Watson, and the Czech Karolina Hlavackova will all be involved in the next edition. 

3. FEWER VOTERS  

Representatives from as many as 170 countries voted in the previous edition, but that is about to change, as representatives from only the top 100 FIFA countries (and the top 50 for women’s football) will vote from now on. 

 4. THE PRIMARY FOCUS OF THE AWARD WILL NOW BE ‘INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE 

After emphasizing that the Ballon d’Or is an individual award, L’Equipe clarifies that voters should prioritize the players’ individual performance. 

Clearer rules have been brought into the voting criteria for individual players. 

 The first criterion focuses primarily on the individual performance of the player. 

 The second focuses on their contribution to the team, while the third assesses their sense of fair play. 

Players’ performances in the previous years will not be considered when voting the winner. 

 

 

  

 

 

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