UEFA co-organize "Ballon d'Or®" in partnership with "Groupe Amaury" © Getty Images

The iconic 'Ballon d'Or' has dominated headlines and online pages as Argentina's Leo Messi won it for the eighth time in history, extending his lead over his rivals. Spain's Aitana Bonmatí also secured the first win of her career.

The UEFA chose the perfect moment to announce, on 3 November, a partnership agreement with 'Groupe Amaury', the owners of France Football and L'Équipe, to co-organise the 'Ballon d'Or®' from 2024, with the shared aim of increasing the relevance and global reach of the awards.

This prestigious award, presented annually by France Football since 1956, is the most coveted honour a footballer can receive in recognition of his or her achievements and talent.

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

'Groupe Amaury' will retain ownership of the 'Ballon d'Or® brand and will continue to oversee the voting system, which will remain unchanged and independent. At the same time, UEFA will contribute its expertise, handle the worldwide marketing of the rights and organise the annual awards ceremony.

Two new awards will aso be introduced: Coach of the Year in both men's and women's football. The current list of trophies will remain unchanged: the men's 'Ballon d'Or', the women's 'Ballon d'Or', the Kopa Trophy (best player under 21), the Yashin Trophy (best goalkeeper), the Gerd Müller Trophy (top scorer of the previous season), the men's Club of the Season Trophy, the women's Club of the Season Trophy, and the Socrates Award (humanitarian work).

This significant and strategic partnership will further strengthen the historic relationship between UEFA and 'Groupe Amaury', which dates back more than half a century when L'Équipe was involved in the creation of the UEFA Champions League, which has become the world's leading club competition.

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

UEFA President Aleksandr Ceferin expressed his satisfaction with the agreement. "For almost 70 years, the 'Ballon d'Or®' has been the most prestigious individual award in world football, a testament to the extraordinary skill, dedication, and influence of football legends and their lasting mpact on the history of the game," he commented.

"UEFA's club and national team competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League and UEFA EURO, are regarded as the ultimate stage for elite players and often play a crucial quest the top honours. UEFA and the 'Ballon d'Or®' are synonymous with sporting excellence, so our partnership will be a natural blend of celebrity and synergy that promises to be exceptional," added the Slovenian leader.

Jean-Étienne Amaury, CEO of 'Groupe Amaury,' echoed these sentiments: "The 'Ballon d'Or®' is the dream prize for the world's best players. We want it to be a global event that showcases and highlights the talent of top footballers, both in their individual and collective performances, in order to inspire all football talent and to unite the passion and enthusiasm of fans around the world."