A number of reforms to the Ballon d’Or have been announced, with the most significant being that the trophy will now be handed on a seasonal basis rather than a calendar year basis.
Traditionally, the Ballon d’Or was awarded to the best player during a 12-month period, encompassing performances from January to December.
However, L’Équipe reports that the forthcoming edition will include results throughout the 2021/22 season, concluding with the Women’s European Championships, which will take place between July 6 and July 31.
Here are all the summarised changes:
- A change from judging by years to by seasons: decisions will now be based on performances between the traditional season of August and July, rather than calendar years, which used to combine two half-campaigns.
- A change in who puts together the shortlists: Ballon d’Or ambassador Didier Drogba and the journalists who came closer to getting the last year’s results right will be involved in choosing the shortlisted candidates, which runs to 30 for the main award and 20 for the young player and goalkeeper trophy.
- A change in the number of people able to vote: last year saw representatives from 170 countries take part in the process, but from now on only the top 100 countries in the FIFA rankings – and the top 50 for women’s football – will be able to vote.
- A slight tweak to the criteria: as it’s an individual award, voters are being instructed to focus on the players’ individual performances over collective achievements, with fair play and setting a good example also counting towards the overall weighting.
Fans will be hoping that all of the adjustments result in the proper winners in the future years, in order to prevent the award’s status from dwindling.
Who do you predict will win the Ballon d’Or this year in light of the new changes?