The readers have spoken, and a very slim majority feel that the Ballon d'Or, as awarded by journalists, trumps the FIFA World Player of the Year award as chosen by coaches and captains...Yesterday we asked readers to choose between the two main prizes for individual players based on their characteristics.
The Ballon d'Or has been awarded by France Football magazine since the 1950s, and until relatively recently was given just to European players, and then those playing on the Old Continent. Now it is open to all, though, and is voted for by a panel of journalists. Until 2007 these selectors were again Euro-centric; now they represent the global media.
The FIFA World Player of the Year award is an upstart by comparison, having been doled out only since 1991. While this prize has always been global, again it is dominated by European winners. FIFA's shortlist selection criteria has come in for criticism, but the voting system - based on international coaches and prominent team captains - is an interesting one.
Based on the above, 54% voted in favour of the Ballon d'Or. That leaves 46% who favoured the FIFA prize.
Of course others argued that neither should be taken too seriously, as football is a team sport and thus should be treated as a group endeavour.
In any case awards season is soon set to begin - and in fact is already underway if one looks at the FIFPro prizes - and naturally those who lift trophies will not look gift horses in the mouth.