While the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League are the most prestigious team titles in soccer, the Ballon d'Or and The Best are the most significant accolades for individual performances.

That's why we've seen Robert Lewandowski get so upset about being snubbed for Lionel Messi in the past, for instance. Apart from winning club trophies, players want to be recognized as the world's best.

The Best and the Ballon d'Or have a similar goal, which is to distinguish who's the greatest soccer player on Earth. But of course, there's a reason why these awards are actually different.

The difference between The Best and the Ballon d'Or

First of all, the main difference is that The Best is presented by FIFA, while France Football is in control of the Ballon d'Or. Besides, the governing body rewards the best player of the calendar year, whereas from 2021-22, the French news magazine considers the club season.

They also have a different voting system. The Best has two phases: first, a panel of experts chooses the 10 nominees per award. In the second phase, journalists, fans, national team managers and captains all have a 25% of weight on the final results. On the other hand, the magazine makes the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or. Later, a journalist from each country ranks five players.

The merger between FIFA and the Ballon d'Or

The Ballon d'Or has been the most prestigious individual award in soccer since its foundation in 1956. After a long time, the governing body decided to have its own award and therefore created the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1991. In 2010, however, FIFA and France Football teamed up to merge the two prizes, creating the FIFA Ballon d'Or. The partnership lasted six years, which is why FIFA created The Best in 2016 to once again have its own award.