Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reiterated his opposition to the Ballon d’Or, saying individual prizes lead to players “thinking about themselves.”
France Football announced the 30-man shortlist for the 2016 Ballon d’Or this week, with Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo the favourite to take the award after his successes in the Champions League and Euro 2016.
“I am against it because I think it gets in the head of players,” Wenger told his news conference on Friday. “We have seen many people only thinking about themselves because they are obsessed by the Ballon d’Or and not by the team performance, and I believe football is a collective sport and we live already in a world where everything is individualised.
“We want to respect what football is about, first about the team effort.”
The Frenchman had said of the FIFA Ballon d’Or award: “I’m against all these things. I’ve seen careers destroyed because the players are too much obsessed to get individual rewards.
“I feel sometimes it encourages selfishness and people to go too much for their own sake when some partners are in a better position.”
Jose Mourinho, then in charge of Chelsea, agreed with Wenger’s assessment: “I think he is right. In this moment, football is losing a little bit the concept of the team to focus more on the individual.”