No Ballon d’Or this year- it’s official; Event canceled due to COVID-19
The statement covered how the gaming season 2019-2020 has been completely ruined by the virus outbreak. All major European Leagues and matches have been suspended or even canceled. Few intercontinental tournaments like Copa América and European Championship have been rescheduled to 2021, keeping in mind the safety & health of the players and officials.
France Football’s Editor-in-Chief, Pascal Ferre, had said that proper planning of the upcoming season, January and February, have the utmost importance. These are used by multiple teams or clubs to decide on which tournaments to focus on and important matches. Even the judges of awards like Ballon d’Or, use this time to keep a check on the player performance for the last season and select a winner.
To fill this gap, the France Football magazine has selected a 180 members committee. This jury team shall be coming up with a champions ‘Dream Team’ listing by the year-end. This team will enlist the top performers of the last season.
For Champions League, including the quarter-finals, the final stages have been remodeled to a ‘mini-tournament’. These will have single-leg matches that will be played in Portugal inside closed doors. It is expected that these will be held next month.
While Cristiano Ronaldo has been awarded 5 Ballon d’Or’ under his name, Lionel Messi- Argentinian Forward from FC Barcelona- has secured 6 trophies. Ronaldo might get a chance for winning and balancing this total if he leads Juventus to victory in Champions League doubles and Serie A. However, he still will have to step his game up to make himself stand out from various other contenders of the trophy.
Another player who might have his chances in securing the award is Robert Lewandowski, a striker for Bayern Munich. He had a total of 50 goals for his club, therefore, increasing his odds of owning the title. On the other hand, Lionel Messi has been making his way up with 20 assists & 20 goals in the La Liga itself.
What is The Ballon d’Or award?
The award- Ballon d’Or was curated by Gabriel Hanot, a sports writer. This award was created for honoring the top male players, who have performed exceptionally well in the last gaming season. The decision is taken by a panel of football journalists; they vote for the best players.
This jury was revised in 2007 and captains & coaches from national teams have been included in the committee ever since. During its initial years, the award was restricted to European players only and was called the European Footballer of the Year award. They finally started a Women’s Ballon d’Or from 2018.
However, by 1995, it started exploring new horizons and accepted players from different backgrounds who have played for the European Clubs. Ballon d’Or got its global recognition by 2007 and all professional football players from all nationalities were welcomed. Famous footballers- Pelé was given this title in 1996 and Maradona also received this award in 2013.
What does the official statement say?
The officials from the France Football magazine have said the decision-making process is not easy for them or their juries. Especially for the players who perform exceptionally in the first half of the season, but have to step back from playing due to various reasons. Hence, creating a ‘fair comparison’ along with all devising and accounting becomes difficult for the board.
The decision of calling-off the ceremony is disappointing for their team and several other football fans. Furthermore, the responsibility of safeguarding the ‘legitimacy’ & ‘credibility’ of such titles also implies ensuring the perfection of the overall process.
They are waiting for their moment of hosting this event again in 2021 and bringing together the widespread Football family from all over the world.
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