At the individual level, there is no more prestigious and desired award for footballers like the Golden Ball, which has been delivered annually since 1956 (with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic). The expectation is always at the maximum to know who will receive it and there is only one man who meet the winner before anyone else.
This 2021 cracks such as Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are nominated, to name a few, but the only one who already knows who won the Ballon d’Or 2021 is named Pascal Ferré, the most powerful man in the magazine that created the award.
Who is Pascal Ferré?
This French is -since 2015- the editor-in-chief of the magazine France Football, the one in charge of delivering the Ballon d’Or every year. With this position, he is responsible for the entire process, from choosing with his work group the 30 male and 20 female footballers nominated to making the phone calls to the winner and the winner.
The biggest challenge that Pascal Ferré has is to keep the secret of the winner of the Ballon d’Or, this despite pressure from representatives, clubs and even the players themselves who want to know if they will be awarded, on many occasions to decide whether or not to go to the gala.
“The identity of the winner of the Ballon d’Or is a big secret, there is no equivalent in the rest of the sport. That causes me to receive hundreds of calls, but I tell them that I cannot share the name because the winners do not know it yet and it would not be correct if they were not the first to know, “the editor told the American newspaper New York Times.
Once the lists with the respective votes arrive, Ferré knows who the winner of the Ballon d’Or is and you share it with only one person, your personal assistant. “Imagine that I have an accident, there would have to be a Ballon d’Or anyway.”
How is the winner of the Ballon d’Or chosen?
There is committee of 10 people within France Football, all headed by Pascal Ferré, whose main purpose is to debate the lists of nominees for the award. Once the applicants are defined, the lists are sent to 170 certified journalists around the world to distribute scores from 1 to 5, with his top favorite receiving five votes, the second four, and so on.
The footballer with the most points in the sum of votes is the winner of the Ballon d’Or, decoration of which Lionel Messi is the historical leader with six, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with five.
Who will win the 2021 Ballon d’Or?
The ceremony will take place this Monday, November 29, but rumors suggest that Lionel Messi would get his seventh Ballon d’Or thanks to his title in the Copa América with Argentina, just in the year he left Barcelona to join PSG, where he has not shone in the way he expected.