Editorial
C. Ronaldo Golden Football Editorial Image

The Ballon d'Or (French for Golden Ball, often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year award) is an association football award. Presented since 1956 by the French football magazine France Football, it is awarded to the player considered to have performed best over the previous year; the inaugural winner was Blackpool player Stanley Matthews. The current holder of the award, as selected in 2007, is Milan's Kaka. Prior to 2007, the player had to be a member of a club based within UEFA's jurisdiction in order to qualify for selection; and until 1995 a player also had to be of European nationality to be eligible. The 2007 change in rules saw players from Qatar, the United States, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina named on the shortlist alongside those from European clubs. Since October 2007, 96 football journalists from around the world have decided the winner from a shortlist of 50 compiled by France Football; prior to this 52 European journalists chose a winner, who needed to play for a European club.[4] Each voter chooses five players from the list of nominees, and awards them between one and five points. The winner is determined by the total number of points; players who finish second and third in the voting are awarded silver and bronze medals.

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