Ivory Coast and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has been named Ballon d’Or ambassador and will co-host the ceremony set for December 2 in Paris, the initiator of the global award, France Football, announced on Thursday.
France Football, a French weekly magazine which launched the annual football award in 1956, says the 30 nominees for this year’s edition will be unveiled on October 21 while the winner will be announced during a gala at Theatre du Chalet (Paris). Some 180 journalists across the globe have been invited to vote.
“I feel honoured to present this prestigious award. I see it as an acknowledgement of my career and its exemplarity,” Drogba said in a statement.
The 41-year-old, who retired from football last year, never won the Ballon d’Or. His best performance was a fourth place finish in 2007.
A new category to the awards was introduced this year and named Yachine Trophy, meant to honour the best goalkeeper of the year. Cameroon and Ajax shot-stopper André Onana is widely seen as top favourite.