Ballon d’Or cancelled due to COVID disruption

Written by Sport, Sport Features

Ballon d'Or 2019
France Football have confirmed that the Ballon d’Or will not be awarded in 2020 – the first time since the prize has not been awarded since it’s inception in 1956.

The organisers said that the awarding of the prize would be “not worthy” of the prestigious history that the award holds following coronavirus disruptions:

“Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such a prize also means guaranteeing its irreproachability over time.”

Previous winners of the Ballon D’or include Ronaldo Nazario, Zinedine Zidane, Johan Cryuff and Marco Van Basten; and is generally considered the most prestigious award in football (since its merger with FIFA World Player of the Year in 2010).

Since then, FIFA and the Ballon d’Or have again became disassociated, but FIFA’s ‘The Best’ has not reached the level of prestige that ‘the FIFA World Player of the Year’ had.

In the last decade, the prize has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the exception of 2018 when Luka Modric took the award.

Lets take a look at the players who’ll be most disappointed at missing out on the golden ball this season…

Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski was commonly regarded to be the front-runner for the Ballon d’Or – and with 51 goals in 43 games in all competitions, it’d be hard to argue that he didn’t deserve it.

Lewandowski led Bayern Munich to a league and cup double and scored 34 goals in 31 Bundesliga appearances, adding 4 further assists. Tottenham defenders are still having nightmares about Lewandowski over his performances against them this season; while Bayern Munich are 7/2 favourites to win the Champions League this August, no doubt due to Lewandowski’s influence.

If Bayern go on to win the Champions League, would this be the biggest Ballon d’Or robbery?

Robert Lewandowski. YouTube - Bundesliga
Source: YouTube via Bundesliga – “All Goals – Robert Lewandowski – Season 19/20”
Lionel Messi

Is any Ballon D’or list truly valid without Messi?

While Lionel Messi is no longer at his peak, he still does things on the football pitch that amazes us all on a regular basis. This season Lionel Messi became the first player in La Liga history to score over 20 goals and provide over 20 assists – finishing as the league’s top scorer.

Messi has been vocal in his discontent at the current state of the Barcelona team, but where other players have faltered, Messi has continued to excel, and he continues to have the most goal contributions in Europe this season.

Barcelona’s own failngs mean that while Messi was unlikely to win the award, he was certain to be on the podium at the end of the year.

Kevin De Bryune

Where Manchester City have faltered at times this season, the Belgian maestro has not. Kevin De Bryune equalled Thierry Henry’s Premier League assist record with his assist against Norwich – taking his tally to 20 assists for the season.

With an additonal 13 Premier League goals to his name, he has undoubtedly been the best player in the Premier League this season and De Bryune is the current favourite for the PFA Player of the Year award.

If Manchester City were to win the Champions League next month, that would undoubtedly have made Kevin De Bryune a front-runner for football’s most prestigious individual award.

Source – YouTube via Amazon Prime Video Sport: “The Match That Made Chelsea Regret Selling Kevin De Bruyne!”
Final thoughts

I find the decision to cancel the award difficult to fathom, despite the break in the football calender the season has been completed, with the new season beginning only a month late.

France Football have cited that it would be unfair to award the prize when certain league’s have been cancelled, but what are the chances that someone playing in France or Scotland would’ve won the award anyway? Close to zero.

Robert Lewandowski has been robbed of his best chance to be crowned the best player in the world. In my opinion, Bayern will win the Champions Legaue, which would’ve made Lewandowski the only realistic candidate for the award.

However, with the Ballon d’Or being governed by France Football it’s not too surprising that they saw Ligue 1’s suspension as adequate reason to postpone the award for 2020.

Unfair? Yes. Understandable? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Do you agree with me? Who else was a candidate for the Ballon D’or?

Let me know in the reply box below…

Featured Image: YouTube via FC Barcelona “Leo Messi, six-time Ballon d’Or winner”

Last modified: 28th July 2020

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