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The Ballon d'Or Is Set To Undergo Some Changes

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The Ballon d'Or Is Set To Undergo Some Changes

The Ballon d'Or is set to undergo some huge changes, following Lionel Messi's seven time winning the award, and will be handed out earlier this year.

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There was plenty of controversy at the end of last year as Messi became the first player to win the Ballon d'Or for a seventh time, with many fans not thinking he deserved to win.

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The PSG forward had only won the Copa del Rey, before leaving Barcelona, in the club season and he wasn't considered as worthy a winner as Robert Lewandowski.

Lewandowski had already been forced to miss out on the award a year before, due to Covid, and Messi did at least acknowledge the Bayern Munich man should have won it in 2020.

That is likely to be Messi's final time winning the award, and not just because his form in Paris has completely fallen off, with France Football confirming changes.

First and foremost, the award will now be handed out in October and will only take into account the previous European season, rather than a full calendar year.

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That means that this year's award won't be delayed to include the winter World Cup, and performances in the tournament will go towards the 2023 award instead.

Messi with his 7th Ballon d'Or. Image: PA Images
Messi with his 7th Ballon d'Or. Image: PA Images

It's not the only change, with the magazine's editor-in-chief, Pascal Ferre, telling L'Equipe that only representatives of the top 100 ranked FIFA countries, instead of every country, whilst the women's award will only be the top 50.

However, they aren't the only ones who will have a say in the winners, with Didier Drogba, Vietnamese journalist Truong Anh Ngoc and Czech juror Karolina Hlavackova compiling the list of nominees.

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Individual performances will remain the top of the criteria for the winner and will also include team performance, the "class" of a player and their fair play record.

Lewandowski must be in the running again. Image: PA Images
Lewandowski must be in the running again. Image: PA Images

However, in the past a player's past record has been considered, which to many explains some of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's victories, but that will no longer be considered any more.

Fans will be hoping that all the changes lead to the correct winners in upcoming years, to keep up the prestige of the award from dropping.

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Who do you think will win this year's Ballon d'Or with the new changes?

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Ballon d'Or, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski

Ryan Sidle
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