UEFA and the Amaury group, owner of L’Equipe and France Football magazine which created the Ballon d’Or, announced Friday they had signed a partnership to co-organise the awards ceremony starting next year.
The Paris-based Amaury group will remain the owner of the Ballon d’Or and continue to oversee the vote, while UEFA will take charge of marketing commercial rights and help organise the annual awards gala.
Two new prizes will be also awarded in 2024, for the men’s and women’s coach of the year.
“We are very happy with this partnership to co-organise the Ballon d’Or ceremony,” said Jean-Etienne Amaury, managing director of the Amaury group.
“It’s a trophy created in 1956 by France Football, the same year of the creation of the European Champions Clubs’ Cup, so there’s a common history between UEFA and the Ballon d’Or.
“The ceremony has taken on a global scale over the past 15 years with worldwide media coverage,” he added.
“So the partnership with UEFA makes perfect sense since it is one of the major players in this sport.”
The annual ceremony takes place in Paris, but there is the possibility it could move to other big European cities after 2024, Amaury revealed.
“It’s the meeting of the two best brands in football. On one side, THE trophy in football is the Ballon d’Or, and on the other side, UEFA has the best competition in the world,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, alluding to the Champions League.
“So there was a sense in doing something together. All players dream of winning a UEFA competition and the Ballon d’Or,” he added.
First awarded in 1956, the Ballon d’Or crowned the best European footballer each season before it was expanded in 1995 to include players of all origins based in Europe.
It became a global prize in 2007 with all players from across world being eligible. A recent change means the award is now based on a player’s record over the last season, rather than over the course of the calendar year.
Lionel Messi won the accolade for a record-extending eighth time on Monday after he inspired Argentina to glory at the 2022 World Cup.
Aitana Bonmati won the Women’s Ballon d’Or for her starring role for club and country, winning the Champions League with Barcelona and the World Cup with Spain.
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