We’ve reached that time of year when France Football’s Ballon d’Or awards gala normally takes place, but this year it will not go ahead. The organisers felt that following a very strange season, interrupted by the pandemic and with the Euro Cup postponed, there was not enough firm data upon which to base their choice for the winner.
With no awards to discuss as usual, Spanish radio program Carrusel Deportivo decided to choose their own Ballon d’Or winner based on a phone-in vote among its listeners. Forty candidates were whittled down to eight, with each then going head to head in a round robin format. It was an entertaining game that helped to fill the afternoon.
Lewandowski and Messi reached the final, with Messi winning out – logical considering Messi has many fans among the audience of the program while his opponent does not.
Lewandowski worthy Ballon d’Or winner
It won’t be a serious loss for Lewandowski, who probably isn’t even aware of Carrusel’s “Ballon d’Or”, but it did make me think that after his great year with Bayern Munich, he is going to lose out on the real Ballon d’Or that would almost certainly have been his.
Messi has hit a slump; Ronaldo has been good, but not at the level of his best days; Neymar and Mbappé did not give their all in Lisbon; while Haaland is a recent appearance. Lewandowski, with all due respect to Carrusel's voters, has been the player of the year, and it is not difficult to imagine that this year he would have joined the prestigious list of winners.
Ballon d’Or Greatest XI
There will be no Ballon d'Or, but France Football is filling the void this year with a brilliant initiative – the Ballon d'Or Dream Team that will comprise of the best XI in history.
Ten names per position have been proposed to the voters: one goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders and three forwards. The chosen eleven will be known in a week’s time and I am really curious about the outcome. Winning the Ballon d'Or is very important, but there is one every year. Being chosen for the greatest XI is something that is unprecedented and will remain forever.