The FIFA Ballon d’Or 2010. From a Regional to a Global Football Award


Hi all,
Today, the 3 FIFA Ballon d’or nominees will be known. On January 10, the winner will be unveiled. An award which is sought and praised by all football players. Who will be Messi’s successor? Speculations give a Barca player winner. Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, or Messi again, take your pick. Time to make a recap on what is exactly the FIFA Ballon d’or, a.k.a Ballon d’or France-Football.

The FIFA Ballon d’Or is the merge of the France-Football ballon d’Or and the FIFA Player of the year award. The world’s best player will from now on receive the FIFA Ballon d’Or. The voting system did also change. Before the merge, journalists used to nominate the France-Football Ballon d’or winner. Now, coaches and captains of international teams also have the right to vote.

The FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year trophy remains the same and will be awarded, as always, at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala. However, voting for this award will also be different to past years. In similar fashion to the new style of voting for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, the Women’s World Player of the Year will be voted for by both the coaches and captains of international teams and football journalists. [Source:]

The France-Football Ballon d’or was created by France-Football chief writer Gabriel Hanot in 1956. At the beginning, journalists could only nominate european players playing in european clubs. That is the answer to your question as in why Maradona and Pelé never got rewarded. When you see Belanov got the award in 1986 whereas Maradona was dominating the football world, this gives you a taste of the ridiculousness of the situation, but anyways.

Rules changed in 1995 to allow non europeans to win the trophy IF they played for a european club. Who said football was global in 1995?
Then, in 2007, some smart executives noticed that football was played everywhere in the world, and because of this new thing called globalisation, players of any nationality were actually playing everywhere in the world! So the rules changed again, and players of any nationality playing for any club on earth was eligible for the Ballon d’Or. 96 journalists worldwide could nominate their top 5 players as opposed to 52 in 2006.

In July 2010, a new chapter opened up. In Johannesburg, FIFA held the rights of the Ballon d’or and created the FIFA Ballon d’Or. 23 players are shortlisted, and ONE winner will be elected on January 10 2010. New name, new features:
The FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Award will also be decided by the votes of national coaches, national captains and media representatives from all over the world.

For the first time, Coach of the Year awards will be presented at the ceremony, recognising the top coaching talent in both the men’s and women’s game. The voting panel will have a similar make-up to those involved in selecting the winners of the FIFA Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Award. [Source:]

Below the shortlists of 23 men 10 women & coaches compiled by the FIFA Football Commission. Journalists, national coaches, national team captains will elect the winner for each category.


Alonso Xabi Spain
Alves Daniel Brazil
Casillas Iker Spain
Ronaldo Cristiano Portugal
Drogba Didier Côte d’Ivoire
Eto’o Samuel Cameroon
Fábregas Cesc Spain
Forlán Diego Uruguay
Gyan Asamoah Ghana
Iniesta Andrés Spain
Júlio César Brazil
Klose Miroslav Germany
Lahm Philipp Germany
Maicon Brazil
Messi Lionel Argentina
Müller Thomas Germany
Özil Mesut Germany
Puyol Carles Spain
Robben Arjen Netherlands
Schweinsteiger Bastian Germany
Sneijder Wesley Netherlands
Villa David Spain
Xavi Spain


Abily Camille France
Bajramaj Fatmire Germany
Ji So Yun Korea Republic
Marta Brazil
Prinz Birgit Germany
Seger Caroline Sweden
Sinclair Christine Canada
Smith Kelly England
Solo Hope USA
Wambach Abby USA



Carlo Ancelotti              Chelsea
Vicente del Bosque     Spain
Alex Ferguson               Manchester United
Pep Guardiola                Barcelona
Joachim Loew               Germany
Jose Mourinho              Inter & Real Madrid
Oscar Tabarez                Uruguay
Louis van Gaal               Bayern Munich
Bert van Marwijk          Netherlands
Arsene Wenger              Arsenal

So from a exclusive european recognition created by a french journalist, the Ballon d’Or has become a global award. Inline with what football is nowadays, a global sport. Some would see FIFA’s willingness to take ownership of an award it did not create. Well that is true, but is FIFA not the global football governing body?

Karl Lusbec


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