The Ballon d’Or award has been caught up in a scandal after a player claims his votes were altered when made public.
Juvenal Edjogo, who played for the likes of Levante, Alaves and Tenerife, was eligible to vote for the 2013 prize as he was captain of the Equatorial Guinea national team.
The 43-year-old is adamant that he had both Didier Drogba and Andres Iniesta in his top three contrary to official voting forms stating he had opted for both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since that point, the midfielder has completely dismissed the significance of the awards as a result and says they have “no value” in his eyes.
“What little I can say about this type of award is that in 2013, I voted for my three players for the Ballon d’Or, and I sent my votes, and in the end when it was made public, the list of who voted for who, my votes were different,” Juvenal told Gol Play, as relayed by AS.
“It said I voted for Messi, Cristiano, and I don’t know who else, but I didn’t vote for any of them. That’s why I say, I don’t believe in absolutely anything about those awards.
“Since then, I’ve thought these awards have no value.”
Ballon d’Or is France Football’s long-time award but at the time it was merged with FIFA. Ronaldo won the prize for the second time, with Messi coming second and Franck Ribery, who still feels as though he was robbed, completing the top three.
But interestingly, for the first time in history, the 2013 Ballon d’Or voting was extended by two weeks due to “a lack of eligible voters”.
The official FIFA website from 2013 does not show the votes, which were were submitted through paper back then but are now done digitally.
Coaches from Kuwait, Bolivia, Albania, Equatorial Guinea, Dominican Republic and Fiji also claimed their votes in the 2013 Ballon d’Or were not legitimate.
FIFA declined to comment when approached by SPORTbible.