The prestigious Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year because the coronavirus epidemic has disrupted football season.
Received by France Soccer magazine, Ballon d’Or has been awarded annually since Stanley Matthews won the first in 1956. Lionel Messi has won the record six times – one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s rivals.
The magazine first released the women’s award in 2018, but that too has caught on. “It’s an amazing year that we haven’t been able to treat you as usual. Let’s start talking (we made this decision) at least two months ago,” France’s French editor Pascal Ferrş said in a telephone interview.
“It’s not a decision we have taken lightly but we had to accept that it will not be a normal or normal Ballon winner, and our biggest concern is that it will not be given.”
Because the rules of the game were changed during the epidemic, the prize itself was affected. “The season started with some rules and ended with other rules. In January and February, football was played in front of full stops. From May and June there were empty spaces,” Ferrş said.
“After that we ruled over five substitutes and not three. Then came some changes in terms of competition, especially the final eight (eight-team) qualifying form for the Champions League when it started with the home and back legs. ”
With the European Championships and Copa America postponed this year, the Champions League would have been much more resilient with the award results but with an indirect format provided the winner’s shortcut in the end.
“The Ballon d’Or would have been decided by only three games in the quarterfinals, semi-finals, tournament, final game,” Ferrş said. Health problem, but we could not look at it as a normal year. Special circumstances led to a unique decision. ”
The Kopa Trophy for Outstanding Under-21 Player and Lev Yashin Award for Best Scoring Awards have also been canceled this year, Ferrş said.
Ronaldo, who will be 36 in February, could still win the Italian League-Champions League twice with Juventus this season, but he is not the only player involved in the decision of France Football.
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski reached the club’s 50 goals for the first time and could win the title. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar can find quadruples in Paris Saint-Germain.
“Look at Lewandowski’s performance this year, his form was at the level of Messi and Ronaldo,” Ferrş said. “And the Paris players, let’s imagine if they can win the Champions League.”
To maintain the accuracy of the prize and the level of skepticism, players were not notified of the decision prior to the announcement.
“We are independent and independent enough not to raise our little finger and ask what they think,” Ferrş said. “We will take their concerns as a sign that they are sticking to this award.”
If the virus could affect next season in the same way, however, a prize will be awarded.
“It would be a small problem indeed, because this time we had two episodes a season – normal and unusual,” Ferrş said. “Imagine that in 2021 all the games are played behind closed doors (outside the game for fans) and five subs. We could have got used to it, because it could have been compared.”
To fill the gap for the year, the magazine has created another award – the French Football Team.
The 180-judge magazine judge will select the best history team from a short list of five players in each category. The star-filled lineup will be known sometime in the fall.
Ronaldo will not be able to match Messi this year, but he could find himself in the same team for the first time.