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Ballon d'Or set to undergo four major changes after Lionel Messi's controversial win

Four major changes have been made to the Ballon d'Or ahead of this year's vote
Four major changes have been made to the Ballon d'Or ahead of this year's vote / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages

France Football have made four significant changes to the Ballon d'Or ahead of this season's vote.

Previously, voting was based on a player's performance during a single calendar year, but the new changes will base the award on performances across the European season.

France Football's editor-in-chief Pascal Ferre informed L'Equipe of the changes which also include a reduction in the number of voters. A player's career achievements will no longer be taken into consideration either.

"No more January to December," the magazine said on Twitter. "The (Ballon d'Or) will now be awarded on the basis of a classic football season: August to July."

Lionel Messi was awarded the Ballon d'Or last season - a win that was considered highly controversial as Bayern Munich hitman Robert Lewandowski was touted to be a shoo-in to win the award.

The next Ballon d'Or award will take into consideration the 2021-22 season and will be held in October 2022. However, the 2022 World Cup scheduled from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar won't be considered until the following season.

France Football added: "The Ballon d'Or is an individual award. Also, logically, criterion number 1 will focus primarily on individual performance and the decisive and impressive character of the contenders.

"Since football remains a collective sport despite everything, criterion number 2 will focus on collective performance and the record accumulated during the season.

"Finally, criterion number 3 will concern the class of the player and his sense of fair play. Because setting an example also counts.

"The most attentive will have noticed the disappearance of the "player's career" criterion. A way of considering the race for the Ballon d'Or as an open competition, and not as a preserve.”