What is the Ballon d’Or trophy worth? Price, weight, materials, prize money
The outstanding players in the 2022/23 men’s and women’s soccer seasons are to be honoured at the Ballon d’Or gala in Paris on Monday.
A number of changes have made to the Ballon d’Or award process in recent years. This has included the jury of journalists being given guidance over what period of performance to assess, as well as the number of jurors being significantly reduced, and the removal of the candidate’s entire career achievements. Is about the now, not the then, or so we’re led to believe.
2023 Ballon d’Or awards ceremony: Get all of the updated information here live online
One thing, however, that award organisers France Football have not overhauled is the trophy itself.
Ballon d’Or: dimensions, value
In its current guise, the Ballon d’Or trophy - which, as its French name suggests, takes the form of a golden football - is widely reported to be worth somewhere in the region of €3,000 ($2,920). Including its pyrite base, the award measures 31 cm in height and 23 cm in diameter, and weighs just over 7 kg.
Made with two brass plates that are soldered together to create the shape of a ball, the trophy is filled with a wax-like material and, on the outside, is bathed in gold.
Ballon d’Or trophy’s former guise
The Women’s Ballon d’Or, which was introduced only five years ago - with Lyon and Norway’s Ada Hegerberg its inaugural winner - has always used this version of the trophy. That’s not the case when it comes to the longer-running men’s prize, though. Handed out yearly since 1956, its first recipient was Blackpool and England’s Stanley Matthews, who was given a rather smaller, more modest-looking gong:
The initial Men’s Ballon d’Or trophy seems to have remained essentially unchanged until 1983, when France and Juventus’ Michele Platini was presented with a redesigned, larger accolade. Barring the odd superficial detail, the trophy Platini picked up 40 years ago - and again in 1984 and 1985 - is more or less identical to the award that’s given out today.
How much prize money do Ballon d’Or winners get?
It doesn’t appear that there is any prize money directly associated with the Ballon d’Or. However, its recipients do tend to pocket bonus cheques agreed as part of their contracts with clubs and sponsors. For example, the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reported that Real Madrid’s Luka Modric was paid €800,000 ($780,000) by boot sponsors Nike when he claimed the men’s award in 2018.
The following year, German magazine Der Spiegel published details of Cristiano Ronaldo’s deal with the US sportswear giant. Per the leaked contract, the Portugal captain, who is a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, had negotiated a €4m ($3.9m) bonus for scooping the gong.
In 2021, meanwhile, it was claimed that Karim Benzema had a bonus clause in his Real Madrid contract worth €2m ($1.95m). And in June last year, the Spanish radio station Cadena SER revealed that Benzema’s club-mate Vinícius Jr was set to have the incentive of a €1m ($975,000) Ballon d’Or payment in his next Madrid agreement.
Ballon d’Or gala 2023: when, where, what awards will be presented?
The 2023 Ballon d’Or awards ceremony will be held at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France, on Monday 30 October 2023. We expect the red carpet glitz and glam to begin at 2pm ET / 11am PT, while the ceremony itself should then get underway at 3:45pm ET / 12:45pm PT.
Viewers in the United States will be able to enjoy the event on the streaming service Paramount+.