France Football have announced that their prestigious Ballon D’Or award will not be handed out in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Ballon D’Or is given to the best player in the world for the year and is voted for by players, managers and journalists. This will be the first time since 1956, the year it was founded, that there will be no Ballon D’Or winner.
Lionel Messi is the current record holder with 6 wins, while Cristiano Ronaldo is just behind him with 5. Neither of those however were really in the running this year.
Robert Lewandowksi was the front-runner for the award, with the Bayern Munich striker scoring 52 goals this season so far. He won the Bundesliga, German Cup and is the current top scorer in the Champions League too – with Bayern favourites to win the competition.
Other candidates included Real Madrid duo Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, while Mo Salah and Sadio Mane were also likely to be in the conversation following Liverpool’s triumphs in England.
The cancellation of the award raises eyebrows though, as all major competitions will have been completed barring France’s Ligue 1, which was cancelled in April due to the coronavirus. International tournaments Euro 2020, Copa America and the African Cup of Nations were all postponed too but they aren’t annual events and thus that shouldn’t matter too much for the award.
It’s a real shame that Lewandowski will likely miss out on the greatest individual award the sport can offer because of this, but his season hasn’t gone unnoticed by fans with social media overflowing with praise for the Polish striker in light of the news.
All eyes now head over to the 2021 award, where it will be interesting to see how it is judged and whether all performances and statistics are carried over and used in consideration when deciding who will be the next man crowned as the world’s best footballer.