[AWARDS] The FIFA World Player of the Year award and the Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) award will be merged into one award -- to be called the FIFA Ballon
d’Or -- beginning with the 2010 award.
France Football magazine has awarded the Ballon d'Or since 1956. It was for many years known as the European Player of the Year award because it was awarded to the top European player and later the top player playing in Europe. It has been open to any player since 2007.
FIFA introduced its World Player of the Year award in 1991 -- and added a female award in 2001.
The new award will combine the current voting criteria, giving equal weight to the votes of coaches and captains (FIFA system) and journalists (France Football system). FIFA's 208 members will be polled.
A women's player of the year, as well as coach of the year, will be awarded.
Since 2005, the same players have won the FIFA World Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or.
In 2004, Ronaldinho won the (FIFA) coaches' award, while Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko won the (Ballon d'Or) journalists' award.
In 2003, the awards when to Zinedine Zidane (FIFA) and Pavel Nedved (Ballon d'Or), who didn't finish in the top three of the other competition.