The Ballon d'Or (French pronunciation: [balɔ̃ dɔʁ]; "Golden Ball") is an annual football award presented by France Football. It has been awarded since 1956, although between 2010 and 2015, an agreement was made with FIFA and the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, and known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or. However, the partnership ended in 2016 and the award was reversed back to Ballon d'Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award (now named The Best FIFA Men's Player).
Conceived by sports writer Gabriel Hanot, the Ballon d'Or award honours the male player deemed to have performed the best over the previous year, based on voting by football journalists. Originally it was an award for players from Europe. In 1995 the Ballon d'Or was expanded to include all players from any origin that have been active at European clubs. The award became a global prize in 2007 with all professional footballers from around the world being eligible.