Ballon d'Or pic credit: Camp_Nou_Experience_(_Ank_Kumar,_INFOSYS)_02

The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by France Football since 1956. The name “Ballon d’Or” means “Golden Ball” in French. Initially, the award was given to European players and was known as the European Footballer of the Year award until 1995. It is considered one of the most prestigious individual awards in the sport of football.

History of Ballon d’Or:

The Ballon d’Or is a football award considered the most prestigious individual award in football. However, in recent times, there have been criticisms of the award, with some describing it as a popularity contest and criticizing its voting process and bias towards attacking players.

The award was first given in 1956, with Stanley Matthews of England being the inaugural winner. Prior to 2007, it was known as the Continental European Footballer of the Year award, and even after 2007, it was often referred to by that name. The award was originally a European award, but it became a worldwide award after being merged with FIFA’s World Player award.

Lionel Messi has won the award a record eight times, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with five. Messi is the only player to win the award with three different teams and the only one to win it while playing outside Europe. Three players have won the award three times each: Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten.

Dutch, German, Portuguese, and French players have won the second most Ballons d’Or, with Argentina in first place with eight winners. German and Italian clubs have also achieved the feat of occupying the top three spots in a single year.

Between 2010 and 2015, the Ballon d’Or was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or. However, after 2015, the merging agreement was not continued.

In 2020, no award was given due to the COVID-19 pandemic cutting short football seasons worldwide. The public opinion is that the 2020 award should have been given to Robert Lewandowski.

The award shows a bias towards attacking players, which has increased recently. The award has gone to a more exclusive set of leagues and clubs over time.

In 2022, France Football modified the rules for the Ballon d’Or. The timing was changed so that awards were given for achievements during a football season rather than a calendar year. Only countries in the top 100 of the FIFA World Ranking were allowed to vote.

From 2024, UEFA will co-organize the Ballon d’Or with France Football, with the magazine retaining the voting system and the Ballon d’Or name and UEFA organizing the awards gala.

The list of Ballon d’Or winners:

Certainly! Here is the information presented in an Excel format:

PlayerWinnerSecond PlaceThird Place
Lionel Messi8( (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2023))5 (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)1 (2007)
Cristiano Ronaldo5(2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)6 (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2018)1 (2019)
Michel Platini3 (1983, 1984, 1985)2 (1977, 1980)
Johan Cruyff3 (1971, 1973, 1974)1 (1975)
Marco van Basten3 (1988, 1989, 1992)
Franz Beckenbauer2 (1972, 1976)2 (1974, 1975)1 (1966)
Ronaldo2 (1997, 2002)1 (1996)1 (1998)
Alfredo Di Stéfano2 (1957, 1959)1 (1956)
Kevin Keegan2 (1978, 1979)1 (1977)
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge2 (1978, 1979)1 (1979)
Luis Suárez1 (1960)2 (1961, 1964)1 (1965)
Eusébio1 (1965)2 (1962, 1966)
Bobby Charlton1 (1966)2 (1967, 1968)
Raymond Kopa1(1958)1 (1959)2 (1956, 1957)
Gerd Müller1 (1970)1 (1972)2 (1969, 1973)
Zinedine Zidane1 (1998)1 (2000)1 (1997)
Gianni Rivera1(1969)1 (1963)
Ruud Gullit1 (1987)1 (1988)
Lothar Matthäus1(1990)1 (1991)
Roberto Baggio1 (1993)1 (1994)
Hristo Stoichkov1(1994)1 (1992)
Andriy Shevchenko1 (2004)2 (1999, 2000)
George Best1 (1968)1 (1971)
Allan Simonsen1 (1977)1 (1983)
Ronaldinho1 (2005)1 (2004)
Stanley Matthews1 (1956)
Omar Sivori1 (1961)
Josef Masopust1 (1962)
Lev Yashin1 (1963)
Denis Law1 (1964)
Flórián Albert1 (1967)
Oleg Blokhin1 (1975)
Paolo Rossi1 (1982)
Igor Belanov1 (1986)
Jean-Pierre Papin1 (1991)
George Weah1 (1995)
Matthias Sammer1 (1996)
Rivaldo1 (1999)
Luís Figo1 (2000)
Michael Owen1 (2001)
Pavel Nedvěd1 (2003)
Fabio Cannavaro1 (2006)
Kaká1 (2007)
Luka Modrić1  (2018)
Karim Benzema1  (2022)

This comprehensive list showcases the historical dominance of various football legends in the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.

Key points :

  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi made history by winning the Ballon d’Or award for 10 consecutive years from 2008 to 2017.
  • Michel Platini holds the record for winning the award three times in a row, accomplishing this from 1983 to 1985.
  • Ronaldo Nazario holds the title of being the youngest player to ever win the Ballon d’Or.

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