PARIS (AP) — France Football magazine is changing the rules for the Ballon d'Or. Six years after merging its coveted prize with the FIFA world player of the year award, the French magazine says that its contract with soccer's governing body has come to an end.
The voting will return to a group of international journalists, whereas coaches and team captains were involved for the past five years. The Ballon d'Or will be chosen from a list of 30 players, instead of 23, and there will be no longer an announcement of the three finalists.
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The rule change is not expected to affect the outcome of the voting, though, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo the outright favorites. Since 2008, only Messi and Ronaldo have been awarded the prize.