No Ballon d’Or Award For 2020

No Ballon d’Or Award For 2020
With leagues halted or folded early, the amount of football on show has been slightly diminished and although restarts across Europe have acted as some form of recalibration, this season cannot be considered anything in the way of normal. For example, continental club competition has been halted until August, the European Championships pushed back until 2021 and Ligue 1 closed with nearly a third of the campaign remaining.

While this is only a sample of the disruption within Europe itself, as the Copa America has also been delayed, CONCACAF only has one major league competition running at present, while the AFC and CAF have their own scheduling headaches.

Admittedly when we look at the best that football currently has to offer, it is the UEFA confederation that garners the majority of the attention and with the European football landscape looking so different than before, there is a fallout in terms of personal accolades.

Because of the curtailment and postponement of such integral competitions, France Football have decided that this year’s edition of their highly coveted Ballon d’Or award, is one that is not deemed worthy of a recipient.

That’s not to say that great players have not done great things this season, but the disruption has not offered the same level playing field and therefore comparisons from one star to another, become almost impossible.

When you consider, that although the Ballon d’Or award is based on the efforts for a year, it really boils down to what has been achieved at the business end of the season and with that business being pushed back, there is no longer the necessary basis to hand out such an award.

Not to forget, that any competitions or leagues that have or will go ahead in the near future, will do so in front of empty stadiums and that in itself, will skew any of the usual judging criteria that is currently in place.

If the award hosting were to go ahead as normal and a star name was selected from the upper echelons of the game, there would undoubtedly be an Asterix next to that achievement. A win, but a win with caveats attached.

Which would only serve to be unfair to whoever was anointed as the king of football for this calendar year. With that said, the decision not to hand out the award in 2020, could prove to be unfair to Robert Lewandowski.

The Polish forward has terrorised Bundesliga and European defences this season and when you consider he has scored 51 club goals; he would arguably have been the front runner to scoop the award.

There may be a small amount of solace for the former Borussia Dortmund hitman and it comes in the form of France Football compiling an array of journalists, to subsequently choose a ‘Dream Team’ instead.

Which when you consider the scoring output that Lewandowski has displayed for the Bavarian outfit, he will be an almost cert to make the starting line up alongside the usual suspects of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

While with no 2020 award up for grabs, it means that Barcelona’s Messi will have to make do with the half dozen he is already in possession of and after the Catalan outfits collective efforts this season, you do wonder if he has missed a genuine opportunity to add to that tally.

Of course, the decision to not pick someone from football’s top class is not a permanent one and with a 2021 award ceremony on the agenda, it might just prove to be the year where Messi wins a seventh and final edition, as we start to see the beginning of the end of his illustrious career.

 

Written by Dan Tracey

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