The 2022 winner of the prestigious trophy will be announced next Monday, 34 days before the start of the year’s only major international competition, the Qatar World Cup. Will that make it a discounted prize?
The Ballon d’Or 2022 will be awarded on Monday, October 17, between the World Cup, which will begin in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December. Has the trophy awarded for the 2021-2022 season, no longer awarded for the calendar year, suddenly become less valuable? Two journalists from the Union/Ardennais sports department discuss the issue. And what do you think?
To conquer without danger…
A World Cup to be held in Qatar in mid-winter will therefore have completely freaked out this season’s calendar to the point of losing all interest and prestige for the Ballon d’Or. While this institution has long since lost credibility due to its sometimes dangerous choices (Lionel Messi’s only act in 2021 will continue to be a transfer to Paris, and even then we’re still not sure), this 2022 edition could be the final nail in its coffin.
France Football announced its reform of the appointment process in March. After all, we change the rules when the game starts, that’s average… And what this rule change says is that this year’s award takes into account the 2021/2022 season, not the leap calendar year. To summarize, the second half of 2021 means two awards. Now that he won the last edition, he can immediately give Messi half of another Ballon d’Or, right?
But above all, with this winter shift, what should be the queen competition of this collective sport, individuals are excluded from the king cup. However, this is what makes the salt of the World Cup years, seeing that a shining player is rewarded on the award list, albeit a curiosity. Would it have been enough to win the Champions League if Luka Modric had not led Croatia to the 2018 World Cup final? How long would it take to see a defender rewarded if Fabio Cannavaro hadn’t been captain of Italy in 2006? And if Zinedine Zidane hadn’t been crowned in France 1998, would she have one day? Ballon d’Or 2022 will be a complete break from the big meeting of the same year.
So yes, this will be the World Cup in the award criteria of the 2023 cup. However, to be equally devalued, a World Cup should be the culmination of the season, not simply a competition. But this is one of the questions that the great decision makers in football should have asked themselves twelve years ago, not a month and a half ago… .
Go tell this to Karim Benzema…
Faith is good, consistency is better. Stitching the World Cup as a necessary step in determining the Ballon d’Or would have stood up if the trophy hadn’t already become a caricature of individual success. Between 2008 and 2021, only the metronome of the game of Real Madrid and Croatia, the hapless finalists of the 2018 World Cup against the Blues (4-2) Luka Modric, Lionel Messi (7) and Cristiano Ronaldo (5).
Let’s take the example of 2010. Is Lionel Messi in the World Cup with Argentina? Germany slapped in the quarter (4-0). Andres Iniesta? Winner of the tournament with Spain and the only goalscorer in the final against the Netherlands and La Liga with Barcelona. Wesley Sneijder? With Oranje, he is the finalist of the event and the winner of the Italian championship, the Italian Cup and the Champions League.
Another for the road. Cristiano Ronaldo during the 2014 edition? He did not pass the group stage with Portugal. But let’s be honest, the Portuguese hadn’t stolen anything and were on another planet with the Madrid club, both in terms of prizes and statistics. Unlike 2013, it will remain an injustice that Franck Ribery later suffered in cloud nine. We will not repeat the discussion here about the control of these heavyweights of the game, only to reiterate that what was given to the Argentine genius in 2021 will be imprisoned in the masquerade section. If major tournaments are that important, how can we not discuss the fact that Italian Jorginho only found himself third when he took out the Champions League with Chelsea, plus the Euro with Italy? On the contrary, it was the crap that was handed out to Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, especially when we remember that the world champion Squadra Azzurra had artists like Andrea Pirlo or Francesco Totti in their ranks.
All this remains subjective, but the Ballon d’Or did not expect to be awarded before the Qatar World Cup to lose its consistency. However, the prospective suitors will not try to rewrite history, they will try to write their own history. Go and explain to Karim Benzema that his potential future bounty will have fewer credits, especially given an exceptional year: 44 goals and 15 assists in 46 games with Real in all competitions in 2021-2022. Fifth Champions League, fourth Spanish league title and a Nations League with the French team. It’s just disrespectful to say that.
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