14/04/2021

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With coronavirus onside, 2020 Ballon d’Or ‘flagged offside’

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There will be no Ballon d’Or winner in 2020, with France Football announcing that due to the “lack of sufficient fair conditions”, the prize that has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in recent times will not be awarded for this calendar year.

A prestigious Golden Ball has been handed out to the best player on the planet since 1956, however the decision has been taken that it would not be right to pick out a leading performer given the circumstances in which professional sport is currently being played.

That means 2019 winner Messi will keep his crown for another 12 months. The Barcelona superstar has six Ballons d’Or to his name, with rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus boasting five.

Announcement on Ballon d’Or no show for 2020

As the organizer of the Ballon d’Or, the Group L’Équipe, to which France Football belongs, decided not to award the most prestigious individual trophy there is in 2020.

Pascal Ferré, editor-in-chief of France Football:

« For the first time since 1956, the Ballon d’Or will take a break. There will be no edition in 2020, because it turns out, after thoughtful consideration, that all the conditions are not met. We believe that such a singular year cannot and should not be treated as an ordinary one.

From a sports perspective, two months (January and February), out of the eleven generally required to form an opinion and decide who should lift the trophies, represent far too little to gauge and judge ; without forgetting that the other games were played – or will be played – in unordinary conditions (behind closed doors, with five replacements, Champions League’s Final 8 played in a single game).

Finally, the equity that prevails for this honorary title will not be warranted, especially when it comes to accounting and preparation : all the award seekers will not be in the same boat, some having seen their season cut short. Therefore, how can we establish a fair comparison? To avoid overly convoluted calculations and projections, we chose the least bad of the options.

This decision, which was taken of course with all the Group stakeholders, does not delight us but it seems to be the most responsible one. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.

The Ballon d’Or will gather again the football big family and enthusiasts in 2021, to relive the happiness that surrounds the ceremonies as we have experienced them in recent years ».

The France Football Dream Team at the end of the year

Instead of the four usual winners (men and women BO, Kopa and Yachine Trophies), France Football will designate 11 players at the end of the year and establish an all-time team chosen by the usual BO jury (180 juries from all over the world).

The idea? Each jury will choose 11 players from a list of names established by FF redaction to build their Dream Team. This team of legend will be unveiled on L’Équipe and France Football various channels.

About the Ballon d’Or

Created in 1956 by France Football redaction, the Ballon d’Or has become the most prestigious individual trophy in the world. The greatest football players, such as Johan Cruyff, George Weah, Zinédine Zidane or Cristiano Ronaldo, have won it.

Since 2018, the Ballon d’Or also rewards the best female football player.

Two other trophies complement the BO « galaxy » : the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best young player since 2018, and the Yachine Trophy, handed to the best goalkeeper since 2019.