Thursday, April 25, 2024
Home Fantasy Lionel Messi leads the list of Ballon d'Or winners

Lionel Messi leads the list of Ballon d’Or winners

Over the years, the Ballon d’Or winners list has seen football’s absolute best getting this award with achievements quite unparalleled. The player with the most Ballon d’Or awards is Lionel Messi after he clinched the individual trophy seventh time in November 2021.

Ballon d’Or, or the Golden Ball, is presented by the French magazine France Football on a yearly basis. Starting in 1956, the Ballon d’Or award remained exclusively for European footballers until 1995 and was also popularly known as the European Footballer of the Year award. AC Milan star George Weah was the first non-European player to win it. The award has since been open to every footballer of all origin playing in a European club.

The idea of the Ballon d’Or award, where the best male footballer of the previous year was awarded as a recognition for his efforts, was conceived by a former French footballer and later a journalist Gabriel Hanot. Hanot was also responsible for the foundation of the Ligue 1 championship and UEFA Champions League, previously known as the European Cup, alongwith his colleague Jacques Ferran.

The method of awarding individual performances has undergone numerous changes over the years. From 2010 to 2015, the Ballon d’Or had merged with the world football body’s FIFA World Player of the Year award to form FIFA Ballon d’Or. But, the idea didn’t last long as they continued with their own separate annual award from 2016.

The Ballon d’Or winner is selected by a voting system where football journalists and national team captains and coaches cast their opinion. Below is the list of every Ballon d’Or winner ever.  

Ballon d’Or Winners full list: From every year

2021Lionel MessiArgentinaParis Saint-Germain F.C.
2019Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2018Luka ModricCroatiaReal Madrid
2017Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2016Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2015Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2014Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2013Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2012Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2011Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2010Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2009Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2008Cristiano RonaldoPortugalManchester United
2006Fabio CannavaroItalyReal Madrid
2004Andriy ShevchenkoUkrainMilan
2003Pavel NedvědCzech RepublicJuventus
2002RonaldoBrazilReal Madrid
2001Michael OwenEnglandLiverpool
2000Luís FigoPortugalReal Madrid
1998Zinedine ZidaneFranceJuventus
1996Matthias SammerGermanyBorussia Dortmund
1995George WeahLiberiaMilan
1994Hristo StoichkovBulgariaBarcelona
1993Roberto BaggioItalyJuventus
1992Marco van BastenNetherlandsMilan
1991Jean-Pierre PapinFranceMarseille
1990Lothar MatthäusGermanyInternazionale
1989Marco van BastenNetherlandsMilan
1988Marco van BastenNetherlandsMilan
1987Ruud GullitNetherlandsMilan
1986Igor BelanovSoviet UnionDynamo Kyiv
1985Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus
1984Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus
1983Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus
1982Paolo RossiItalyJuventus
1981Karl-Heinz RummeniggeWest GermanyBayern Munich
1980Karl-Heinz RummeniggeWest GermanyBayern Munich
1979Kevin KeeganEnglandHamburg
1978Kevin KeeganEnglandHamburg
1977Allan SimonsenDenmarkBorussia M”nchengladbach
1976Franz BeckenbauerWest GermanyBayern Munich
1975Oleg BlokhinSoviet UnionDynamo Kyiv
1974Johan CruyffNetherlandsBarcelona
1973Johan CruyffNetherlandsBarcelona
1972Franz BeckenbauerWest GermanyBayern Munich
1971Johan CruyffNetherlandsAjax
1970Gerd MüllerWest GermanyBayern Munich
1969Gianni RiveraItalyMilan
1968George BestNorthern IrelandManchester United
1967Flórián AlbertHungaryFerencv rosi TC
1966Bobby CharltonEnglandManchester United
1964Denis LawScotlandManchester United
1963Lev YashinSoviet UnionDynamo Moscow
1962Josef MasopustCzechoslovakiaDukla Prague
1961Omar SívoriItalyJuventus
1960Luis SuárezSpainBarcelona
1959Alfredo Di StéfanoSpainReal Madrid
1958Raymond KopaFranceReal Madrid
1957Alfredo Di StéfanoSpainReal Madrid
1956Stanley MatthewsEnglandBlackpool

First Ballon d’Or winner: Stanley Matthews

English football club Blackpool star Stanley Matthews had won the Ballon d’Or in its inaugural year. It was astonishing how a player in his late 30s edged past the legendary Alfredo Di Stefano of Real Madrid to win the award. But, Matthews’ exceptional individual performance against Bolton Wanderers in the 1953 FA Cup final, in which Blackpool won 4-3 through a very late winning goal, had changed perceptions. Not only is it regarded as the best FA Cup final to date but it also came to be known as the “Matthews Final”.

First African and Non-European Ballon d’Or winner: George Weah

The only African football player ever to win the Ballon d’Or, George Weah is often compared to Marco Van Basten and Ronaldo Nazario Lima for his athleticism and goal-scoring abilities. He was the first Non-European player to win this individual award after his exceptional stints with both Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in 1995. 

First South American Ballon d’Or winner: Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

The first South-American footballer who was also the youngest player ever to win the Ballon d’Or award, Brazil’s Ronaldo Nazario Lima had won the award as a 21-year-old in 1997 while playing for Serie A side Inter Milan. He would then go on to win the award again in 2002, this time while playing for La Liga side Real Madrid. Apart from having a brilliant club career with giants like AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Ronaldo has also helped Brazil to become two-time FIFA World Cup winners.

Ballon d’Or winners: By number of awards 

Lionel Messi7 (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021)
Cristiano Ronaldo5 (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
Johan Cruyff3 (1971, 1973, 1974)
Michel Platini3 (1983, 1984, 1985)
Marco van Basten3 (1988, 1989, 1992)
Alfredo Di Stéfano2 (1957, 1959)
Franz Beckenbauer2 (1972, 1976)
Kevin Keegan2 (1978, 1979)
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge2 (1980, 1981)
Ronaldo2 (1997, 2002)

Lionel Messi: Most times Ballon d’Or award winner

Football in the 21st century has been synonymous with the Messi vs Ronaldo rivalry for over a decade now and the Ballon d’Or winners list reflects it impeccably.  The former FC Barcelona star has won the individual award in years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021 so far, creating a record that is unlikely to be broken anytime soon. The left-footed magician also leads the list of players with the most assists in football and most goals in a season.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Five-time Ballon d’Or award winner

The list for Ballon d’Or winners in the last 10 years would have featured only one name had it not been for Real Marid and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese international leads list of players with the most goals in football history and most international goals in football. Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or award in the years 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017.

No football player has won the Ballon d’Or as many times as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Following them, Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten have won the Ballon d’Or three times, while Alfredo Di Stéfano, Franz Beckenbauer, Kevin Keegan, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and Ronaldo have won it twice.

Women’s Ballon d’Or winners full list 

2021Alexia PutellasSpainBarcelona
2019Megan RapinoeUSAReign FC
2018Ada HegerbergNorwayOlympique Lyonnais


Who is the Ballon d’Or 2020 winner?

Due to the Covid-19 situation worldwide, there was no Ballon d’Or award ceremony held in 2020. Though, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski was widely believed to have deserved the prestigious award after his brilliant Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League campaign.

Who is the Ballon d’Or 2021 winner?

Lionel Messi was the Ballon d’Or 2021 winner after he was voted the best player with 613 points. He was followed by nominations of Robert Lewandowski and Jorginho in the second and third places.

How many Portugal Ballon d’Or winners are there?

There have been three Portugal Ballon d’Or winners so far, who have won seven awards together. While Cristiano Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Ors, Luis Figo and Eusebio have one each.

Who are the Manchester United Ballon d’Or winners?

There have been four Manchester United Ballon d’Or winners in history, all of whom have won the award once each. They are Denis Law (1964), Bobby Charlton (1966), George Best (1968) and Cristiano Ronaldo.

A literature student and ardent sports lover, who was blown away by the fact that SEO helps you achieve perfection in art. Obsessed with SEO, my write-ups are more analytical yet elementary.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular