Eurosport has begun its quest to discover the greatest footballers in the world.
This summer, we'll be doing a daily countdown of the planet's finest football players, culminating in the election of the first Ballon d'Eurosport.
What's the point?
Why are we doing this? Aren't there enough awards already? Perhaps. But most are flawed, including the most coveted individual prize - the Ballon d'Or.
Now, we love the Ballon d'Or, but it has two crucial things wrong with it.
The football year runs from summer to summer. This should be obvious. We know football never really stops (this countdown coincides with the Confederations Cup) and that many countries have summer leagues. But still. For the vast majority of the world's leading players, the year starts in August and finishes in late May, especially when there is no major international tournament. So what's the point in the Ballon d'or sticking to the calendar year and giving the award in the first week of January?
Our solution - vote at the end of the European club season.
The Ballon d'Or asks its voters to assess each player's body of work over the past 12 months. This feels somewhat restrictive. Aren't we just trying to decide who is the best player in the world, rather than who has contributed the most? Of course they are linked (just ask Iker Casillas), but we think a pure review of the year is too narrow.
Our question to the electorate is simply: "Who is the best footballer in the world."
We asked the editorial teams of 10 countries/areas around the Eurosport network to compile their list of the world's 25 best players.
Then we did the sums, Eurovision-style.
It's simple: a first-place vote is worth 25 points, second place is 24... all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.
UK/Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Arabia.
We will reveal one player every Monday-Friday over the next six weeks, with the overall winner being revealed on July 19th.
Join us on Monday as we announce number 30.
- Sports & Recreation