In reality, in fact, lots of the names have a transparent majority behind them. “For the males, perhaps 20 or 22 gamers can be apparent to everybody,” he stated. “We focus on the ultimate eight or 10. The conferences could be lengthy, two or three hours, however we want everybody to be happy with the ultimate choice. It is not only the record of the chief. And we strive to not overlook anyone: We labored out a few years in the past that, between us, we had watched 1,000 video games or extra that 12 months. To be on the record in any respect is one thing very critical.”
Once one thing approaching a consensus has been reached, France Football sends its shortlists to its jury of greater than 170 vote-wielding journalists round the world (in addition to announcing them in public) in early October.
It is at this level that the veil of secrecy descends. The jurors — one per nation — submit their 5 decisions, so as, to what Ferré describes as a “non-public electronic mail server.” Pressed on fairly what kind that takes, he demurred: The system is so secret that he declined to disclose even the way it labored, besides to say that solely he and his secretary have entry to it. The remainder of the France Football workers are saved in the darkish.
“We are very cautious,” he stated. “But the identification of the winner of the Ballon d’Or is a giant secret. There will not be an equal in the remainder of sport, I feel.” He sounded vaguely uncertain when it was put to him that the most instant parallel was, maybe, the outcomes of the Oscars.
That the accountability weighs so closely on Ferré, and his journal, shouldn’t be attributed to an inflated sense of their very own significance. They deal with the Ballon d’Or significantly as a result of they know precisely how a lot it means to gamers. When Ferré referred to as Luka Modric, the winner in 2018, to present him the information that he had gained, the Croatian “cried like a baby,” Ferré stated.
“It is Christmas for them,” he stated. “It is the solely probability you get in a group sport to have a good time by your self.”
It is a significance that solely appears to develop with each passing 12 months. The primacy of the Ballon d’Or is one thing of a curious phenomenon. In 2010, it was married to FIFA’s official equal, the World Player of the Year award, to turn out to be the FIFA Ballon d’Or.