Ballon D’ Or

The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by France Football. It has been awarded since 1956, with the winner chosen by a panel of international journalists. The Ballon d’Or is considered one of the most prestigious individual awards in football and is often referred to as the “Oscar” of football. It is presented to the best male player in the world over the previous calendar year, based on performances for both club and country.

History of Ballon D’ Or Award

The Ballon d’Or was first presented in 1956 by France Football, a French magazine. The award was initially given to the best European player of the year and was based solely on performances for their club. In 1995, the award was expanded to include players from all over the world, and in 2010, it merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award to become the FIFA Ballon d’Or.

The award has been dominated by a few players over the years. Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award five times, while Argentine forward Lionel Messi has won it a record six times. Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, and Lothar Matthäus have each won the award three times. Other notable winners include George Best, Kevin Keegan, Marco van Basten, and Ronaldo Nazário.

In 2020, the Ballon d’Or was not awarded due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions it caused to the football calendar. The award was resumed in 2021, with Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne winning the award.

Ballon d’ Or Winners (1956 – 2023)

Here is a list of the Ballon d’Or winners since 1956:

  • 2023: Lionel Messi (Inter Miami CF)
  • 2022: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
  • 2021: Lionel Messi (Paris saint German)
  • 2019: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2018: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
  • 2017: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2015: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2014:Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2013: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2012: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2011: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2010: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2009: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
  • 2008: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
  • 2007: Kaka (AC Milan)
  • 2006: Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid)
  • 2005: Ronaldinho (Barcelona)
  • 2004: Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)
  • 2003: Pavel Nedvěd (Juventus)
  • 2002: Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
  • 2001: Michael Owen (Liverpool)
  • 2000: Luís Figo (Real Madrid)
  • 1999: Rivaldo (Barcelona)
  • 1998: Zinedine Zidane (Juventus)
  • 1997: Ronaldo (Inter Milan)
  • 1996: Matthias Sammer (Borussia Dortmund)
  • 1995: George Weah (AC Milan)
  • 1994: Hristo Stoichkov (Barcelona)
  • 1993: Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
  • 1992: Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
  • 1991: Jean-Pierre Papin (Marseille)
  • 1990: Lothar Matthäus (Inter Milan)
  • 1989: Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
  • 1988: Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
  • 1987: Ruud Gullit (AC Milan)
  • 1986: Igor Belanov (Dynamo Kyiv)
  • 1985: Michel Platini (Juventus)
  • 1984: Michel Platini (Juventus)
  • 1983: Michel Platini (Juventus)
  • 1982: Paolo Rossi (Juventus)
  • 1981: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich)
  • 1980: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich)
  • 1979: Kevin Keegan (Hamburg SV)
  • 1978: Kevin Keegan (Hamburg SV)
  • 1977: Allan Simonsen (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
  • 1976: Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich)
  • 1975: Oleg Blokhin (Dynamo Kyiv)
  • 1974: Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)
  • 1973: Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)
  • 1972: Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich)
  • 1971: Johan Cruyff (Ajax)
  • 1970: Gerd Muller (Bayern Munich)
  • 1969: Gianni Rivera (AC Milan)
  • 1968: George Best (Manchester United)
  • 1967: Florian Albert (Ferencváros)
  • 1966: Bobby Charlton (Manchester United)
  • 1965: Eusebio (Benfica)
  • 1964: Denis Law (Manchester United)
  • 1963: Lev Yashin (Dynamo Moscow)
  • 1962: Josef Masopust (Dukla Prague)
  • 1961: Omar Sívori (Juventus)
  • 1960: Luis Suárez (Barcelona)
  • 1959: Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)
  • 1958: Raymond Kopa (Real Madrid)
  • 1957: Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)
  • 1956: Stanley Matthews (Blackpool)

Most Successful Ballon d’Or winners

Lionel Messi is the most successful winner of the Ballon d’Or, having won the award a record Eight times. The Argentine forward has won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 ,2021 and 2023. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award five times, in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, and Lothar Matthäus have each won the award three times. Other notable winners include George Best, Kevin Keegan, Marco van Basten, and Ronaldo Nazário.

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