The Ballon d’Or, awarded to the world’s best male and female footballer, is revamping its format from next season, organisers France Football magazine said on Friday.
The award willl now be based on performances across a whole football season, rather than a calendar year, and the jury that selects the winner will be reduced to around 100 journalists rather than the current 170.
The women’s award will have a jury of 50.
“It’s an opportunity to give it a new impetus,” France Football’s chief editor Pascal Ferre said at a presentation of the new format.
“Before we were judging based on two half seasons. This will be clearer.”
The next Ballon d’Or awards will be handed out in September or October 2022 and will be based on the season that ended in July with the women’s Euro 2022.
With the World Cup finals in Qatar not taking place until November and December this year, the stars of that event will have to wait until the 2023 awards.
The changes are also designed to prevent the Ballon d’Or becoming the equivalent of lifestyle awards.
This is in response to the criticism of the 2021 award given to Lionel Messi for the seventh time, following his transfer to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.
Many observers believed Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski deserved to win — the Pole did win the equivalent category in the 2022 Best Fifa awards.
Barcelona’s Alexia Putellas won both the Ballon d’Or and the Best Fifa award for women’s player.
In another change, former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba is joining the committee that picks nominees.
The criteria will also be clarified with “individual performances” given more prominence than factors such as the trophies won by a player’s team or an individual’s “sense of fairplay”.
“It is about avoiding ambiguities, being clear and coherent — the Ballon d’Or is an individual award based on individual performances,” Ferre said.