No Ballon d’Or for this year

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Football enthusiasts will have to forego the annual “Messi or Ronaldo” diatribe with France Football announcing that the most famous individiual prize will not be handed out this year due to the “lack of sufficient fair conditions”.

The prestigious Golden Ball has been handed out to the best footballer on the planet since 1956. However, organisers felt it would not be right to pick out a leading player considering the circumstances in which the remainder of the season is being played out.

This decision means that 2019 and six-time winner Argentine Leo Messi will keep his title for another year. Cristiano Ronaldo, who was seeking to emulate the Barcelona striker, has five Golden Ballon d’Or awards to his name.

In a statement, France Football said that it does not wish to add an asterisk next to the award this year, that the “trophy was won in exceptional circumstances due to the Covid-19 health crisis”.

It insisted that a small sprain to its history is preferable to a big scar.

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