For the first time in 64 years, the Ballon D’or will not be awarded to any player this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the new footballing schedule after lockdown, the event’s organising body has decided it would not be fair to select a standout player. 

This means that Lionel Messi, the previous winner of the award, will retain his kingship for another year. Also, the current women’s best player, Megan Rapinoe will retain her title from 2019 until the next ceremony. 

The award, in recent times, has been won by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi with the FC Barcelona forward receiving six Ballon d’Or titles and his longest rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, winning five titles. The two players were expected to be challenged by Kevin DeBruyne of Manchester City and Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich for their outstanding performances this season. All players are, thus, going to wait for 12 months in hopes that the ceremony will be held.

Since 1956, the glamorous Golden Ball trophy has been awarded to the best performing player each year.  

In a statement on their website, France Football said, “In exceptional circumstances, exceptional provisions. For the first time in its history, which began in 1956, the Ballon d’Or France Football will not be awarded in 2020, for lack of sufficient fair conditions.”

“Messi and Rapinoe (as well as De Ligt and Alisson, winners of the Kopa and Yachine Trophies) will have to wait a year. The winners of the latest edition of the BO will not have successors at the end of the year. Because there will be no Ballon d’Or 2020 edition. Why?

• Because such a unique year cannot – and should not – be treated as an ordinary year. When in doubt, it is better to abstain than to persist.

• Because the Ballon d’Or trophy conveys values other – like exemplarity, solidarity and responsibility – than sporting excellence alone.

• Because the equity which prevails for this honorary title could not be preserved, in particular at the statistical level and also of the preparation since all the aspirants to the reward could not be accommodated in the same boat, some having seen their season cut off radically, others not. So how can we compare the incomparable?

• Because we did not want to put an indelible asterisk on the style “Trophy won in exceptional circumstances due to the Covid-19 health crisis.” We will always prefer a small sprain (to our history) to a large scar. This is the first time since 1956 that the Ballon d’Or has taken a break. The parenthesis does not enchant us but seems to us the most responsible and logical. Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such an award also means ensuring its flawlessness over time.”