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There has been a huge change to this year’s Ballon d’Or… and it’s an absolute joke

That's Luka Modric's chances on the scrap heap then...

After the omnishambles of FIFA’s ‘The Best’ awards, France Football have done their best to ruin this year’s Ballon d’Or.

The governing body have changed the award’s criteria, meaning voters should now take into account the nominees’ entire careers.

A reminder that Salah’s fourth best goal of last season won the Puskas Award

Getty - Contributor
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A reminder that Salah’s fourth best goal of last season won the Puskas Award

As stated on France Football’s website, the 2018 winner will be determined by three factors:

  • Individual and collective performances (winners) during the year
  • Player class (talent and fair play)
  • Player’s career

It’s impossible to understate just how terrible these changes are.

Ronaldo is nominated and among the favourites

AFP
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Ronaldo is nominated and among the favourites

Firstly, team achievements are now to be considered in a official capacity.

In reality, they always were.

Previously however, the world’s journalists were advised to only judge individual performances — which makes sense considering it’s an award for individuals.

A player could score 150 goals in a season, but if their team-mates all underperformed and the rampant goalscorer ended the season without a team honour, their Ballon d’Or hopes would be significantly dented, if voters followed the the official criteria.

Teenage blues

Getty - Contributor
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Teenage blues

The most inexplicable change is France Football’s request that voters take into account a player’s whole career.

WHAT’S THE POINT IN HOSTING IT ANNUALLY THEN?

19-year-old Kylian Mbappe won’t thank his compatriots for this change, given the PSG starlet’s career is still very much in its infancy.

If a player’s entire career is now an influential factor, surely the only legitimate candidates are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?

Just the ten Ballon d’Ors between them…

Getty Images - Getty
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Just the ten Ballon d’Ors between them…

Many of the other candidates have had distinguished careers but none even come to the dynasties of the dual five-time Ballon d’Ors winners.

France Football’s new criteria massively favours Messi and Ronaldo — which is rather unfair on the other nominess.

If the world’s journalists are to follow the criteria then the decade-long duopoly looks set to hold off challenges from the likes of Luka Modric, Mohamed Salah and Antoine Griezmann.

Both Messi and Ronaldo are worthy potential winners, you just wonder why France Football felt the need to tweak the criteria in their favour.

When did individual awards become so difficult to organise?


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