France Football make major changes to the Ballon d’Or after controversial Lionel Messi win in 2021

The Ballon d’Or will now be awarded based on performances over the course of a regular European season, rather than a calendar year, France Football magazine said Friday.

A reduction in the number of voters was among four major changes confirmed in L’Equipe by France Football’s editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre, with the goal of streamlining the process. Voters also will no longer consider a player’s career accomplishments.

France Football magazine has given out the award to men every year since 1956 and to women each year since 2018, though both were cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.

‘No more January to December,’ the magazine said on Twitter. ‘The (Ballon d’Or) will now be awarded on the basis of a classic football season: August to July.’

The significant alterations have been brought in following Lionel Messi’s controversial win in 2021. The Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina great narrowly edged out prolific Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski to claim the award for a record-extending seventh time.

Meanwhile, Alexia Putellas of Barcelona and Spain became the third winner of the women’s award for 2021.

The switch means the next Ballon d’Or award will encompass the 2021-22 season, ending with the women’s European Championship in July. The next award ceremony will be in October.

The World Cup in Qatar, scheduled Nov. 21 to Dec. 18, won’t be considered until the following season.

The men’s voting pool will be reduced from 170 to 100; with 50 voters for the women.

The magazine also clarified the criteria for the award. It’s based first on individual performance, then team performance, and finally fair play.

Source: Daily Mail

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