The golden ball passed by the premises of France Bleu Isère

Pascal Ferré is the editor-in-chief of France Football, he is one of the voters in the college of journalists who designate the golden ball. He was passing through Grenoble this Wednesday … with the trophy in his suitcase!

France Bleu Isère: It is one of the totems of the football world, the Ballon d’Or, is it still so popular today?

Pascal Ferré: You use the term « totem », I think that’s quite a catch. Yes, it is the only trophy in my opinion in front of which football players become big children again. You just have to see the look with the stars in your eyes when you open the box to hand them the Ballon d’Or, or you just have to see the number of calls I have received over the last few days to see. of the continuity of this award.

With its golden side, it also evokes a little that of the World Cup. There is a kinship between the two, is that intended?

I think it was a brilliant marketing stunt, but I don’t think it was totally unintentional because it was invented in 1956. So what contributes to the fame of the Ballon d’Or is two. things, it is its simplicity and then its authenticity and its simplicity. From the start, it’s the same way of working. They are journalists established all over the world, one per country, who vote (Editor’s note: for France, Pascal Ferré). And then, it has its authenticity. That is to say that we have not changed much since. It has been going on for 65 years. And then, there is no reason for that to change.

And you make him take a little tour of France, to this trophy? What matters to you, you, in the fact of transporting it like that as close as possible to football fans?

We have the feeling that this Golden Ball is a bit of a trophy for France. It was invented in 1956 by French journalists and we have the feeling that it has a real interest. Even among non-enthusiasts. So that’s why we’re doing this little Tour de France. But we are even considering going beyond France. But for the moment, we are. We are in France and we were born in Grenoble and we are delighted to be in Grenoble to show it, to display it, to help people discover it. Not for them, not to touch it, because we don’t have the right to touch it.

There was no Golden Ball in 2020. And for good reason, no real championship played until the end. When there is a track record with nothing in front of a year, it’s always heartbreaking.

It’s quite a heartbreak, but we preferred to have a heartbreak than a big erasure that we would have had to blush or with which we would not have been very comfortable in five years, in ten years, in fifteen years. So, it was a real heartbreak to do without the 2020 edition. And that’s why there is so much excitement, attention, interest and expectation for the edition. 2021.

There is now also a female Golden Ball. Was it about time? To have parity in this ranking?

Sure. Of course, when we decided in 2018 to bring this project to fruition, it was not under any social or societal pressure. It was because we realized that women’s football was starting to tick all the boxes, that is to say that it was starting to internationalize, that there were competitions that were getting better and better. structured and that there were champions all over the world. So, from the moment, when we were convinced that all the boxes were ticked, we were delighted to launch this Golden Ball.

Karim Benzema has just been convicted in the Sextape case. He appealed, however, can that affect the selection?

What you just need to know is that the votes have been closed since the end of October, that is to say that the players voted without knowing the outcome or the verdict. And I would just add that what we designate is the best player in the world and not the Nobel Peace Prize!

The Pole of Bayern, the striker Robert Lewandowski has the favors of the rumors of the moment. Your opinion on this? It’s possible ?

Lewandowski is a very, very, very good player. He had a year 2020, which is also quite exceptional. He is at the top of the statistics. He’s the one who scored the most goals this year. More than Messi, more than Cristiano Ronaldo, who are machines, who are scoring machines. After the Ballon d’Or, it’s not just a question of addition. You just also have to know how it is perceived in the 170 countries and by the 170 voters. What will the Korean or Bhutan or Chile voters think of this performance? You will ask them!

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