The Ballon d’Or has already had a few lives. On Monday, October 17th, the name of the 66th Ballon d’Or France Football winner will be announced to the world.
The rest of the standings will be revealed to him by the magazine as dribs and drabs. After the 2021 edition, the first since the Covid-19 pandemic to dedicate Lionel Messi for the seventh time, the coveted award will recognize a new owner. At the ceremony, which will be presented by Didier Drogba from the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the best young player Kopa trophy and the best goalkeeper Yachine trophy will be presented, as well as the Women’s Golden Ball.
On the starting line there are 30 players and 20 players who want to put their name on the list of the most prestigious individual awards. The game between the gentlemen seems to have been played before. The author of a dazzling season, crowned with his fifth Champions League, fourth Spanish league title and League of Nations, his first trophy in Blue, Karim Benzema acts as the ultra favourite. At 34, the OL-trained player will be the fifth Frenchman to lift the prestigious award, 24 years after Zinedine Zidane.
“KB9”, who was selected fourth in the French Football rankings in 2021 and UEFA player of the year 2021, killed all the competition this time. Sadio Mané, African champion and Champions League finalist with Senegal, who transferred from Liverpool to Bayern Munich in the summer, should at best have a place of honor. However, he can console himself with an honorary title, as he was Bron’s child’s dolphin, which would secure the best spot for an African football player since 1995, the year Liberian George Weah won the Ballon d’Or. The top 3 of this 2022 vintage could be completed by another Madrid native, Vinicius Junior.
If the name of the winner is obvious, this is not the case for the ladies. The defending champion Alexis Putellas is still leaving by a (very) small margin. Despite his pack in the Euro and his defeat in the Champions League final, the Spanish midfielder had an excellent season in the league at Barça, with 30 wins in a matter of days.
This earned him the title of best UEFA player of the year, ahead of Arsenal striker Beth Mead, who was named best player and scorer in the European Nations’ Championship, which England won. Behind this outstanding duo in the Supreme Grail race, the four French representatives, OL and Les Bleues captain Wendie Renard, teammate Selma Bacha and Parisian Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Kadidiatou Diani need to be happy with their places. Honour.
A revised and corrected distribution method Created by France Football in 1956, the trophy awarding the best player of the year was not always available in its current form. The distinction, which was reserved for European players playing in only one European club until 1995, was gradually opened to foreign players playing in Europe and then to all nations in 2007. This is why neither Pelé nor Diego Maradona lifted the World Cup, they have never won in their careers.
The distribution method changed in 2010 with an expanded electoral panel and an adjusted rating system. Considered unfairly for not awarding the best player of the year (Wesley Sneijder in 2011 or Franck Ribéry in 2013) but above all the best player in the world, it was completely overhauled when the partnership with FIFA ended in 2016. .
From then on, the magazine chose to revert to a more traditional formula based on what had ensured the Ballon d’Or’s success up to that time: a single vote of 170 journalists rose to 100 in 2022, elected on a first-choice basis. 100 countries in the FIFA ranking, plus three new judges (Didier Drogba and the two most relevant journalists in the previous vote). Since 2018, the same process has been applied to the Women’s Ballon d’Or, where 50 football expert journalists from the top 50 FIFA countries are invited to determine the winner.
A calendar modeled on the season
Two minor innovations have been added this season. The scoring system, determined by three criteria, sees the player’s career disappear. The ‘values’ maintained are currently as follows: 1. individual performance and determination; 2. The collective performances during the year in question, including the list of awards, and 3. The player’s class, i.e. talent and fair play. Each criterion gives points, the number of which varies according to the player’s position. A winner is then created, which is announced at a ceremony broadcast on L’Équipe, which belongs to the same group as the magazine from which this award is sourced, and a ranking that makes it possible to determine the winner.
But the real revolution of this 2022 edition lies elsewhere. Since its inception in 1956, the Ballon d’Or has been awarded at the end of the calendar year, which requires voters to evaluate the performance of the two half seasons (January-July and August-December). For this revamped version, the chosen calendar is now aligned “for consistency, readability and clarity” taking into account the season (August-July), the start of major championships and the end of international competitions.
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