“The Ballon d’Or has been the most prestigious individual award in world football for almost 70 years. In turn, UEFA competitions are a stage where the best players on the planet compete for nominations and history with their performances. Establishing cooperation is a logical step,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
Two new categories for the best coach and female coach will be added to the Golden Ball. At the same time, UEFA will abandon its own poll from next year, which was dominated by Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland last season. But he will continue to announce the best players of his competitions.
The traditional poll has been held since 1956, when Englishman Stanley Matthews won the Ballon d’Or. Six years later, Josef Masopust succeeded, and in 2003, Pavel Nedvěd. First, the award was intended for the best European player, later for the best footballer active in Europe, and since 2007 the poll has been open to players from all over the world. For the 2022/23 season, Lionel Messi, the captain of the Argentine world champions, went for the trophy for the eighth time on Monday.
Between 2010 and 2015, the poll was organized by France Football and the International Football Federation (FIFA). However, their collaboration ended, and from 2016 the winner was again announced only by a French magazine, based on the votes of journalists from all over the world. FIFA has started awarding its own The Best award.
Messi will celebrate his eighth Ballon d’Or with an exhibition with Miami
Lionel Messi will celebrate winning the eighth Ballon d’Or with an exhibition match against Inter Miami. The Florida team, whose jersey has been worn by the captain of the reigning world champions since the summer, will take on New York City FC on November 10. Neither club advanced to the MLS playoffs and are in the postseason. Inter reported on the exhibition on their website.
The match will be preceded by a ceremony where Messi will show the fans the prestigious trophy, which he received in Paris on Monday. With his eighth triumph in the poll, the thirty-six-year-old Argentine improved his own record.
Messi was originally scheduled to play two exhibition games with Miami in China in the coming days, with a total of 100,000 spectators expected. But this week, the tour, which the AP said was plagued by organizational problems, was called off. According to the promoter, the cancellation of the matches was a sign of respect following the recent death of former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.