French magazine France Football has announced changes to its Ballon d’Or award after it ended their six-year association with FIFA, with players and managers no longer to get a vote.
The partnership was formed in 2009 when the Ballon d’Or combined with the FIFA World Player of the Year award, and since its inception it has been shared by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (four wins) and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo (two wins).
Before that, the Ballon d’Or was given to the best European player until in 1995 when it became the best player who was playing for a European club.
One thing hasn’t changed, however: the level of prestige that the award carries. It has long been considered by far the greatest individual accolade in football.
After the awards were merged, national team captains and managers also took part in the voting.
The shortlist will be increased from 23 to 30 players and there will be no reducing of the shortlist to three players as has become customary.