The most prestigious individual awards in football today are the Ballon d’Or, FIFA the Best, and the UEFA Best. However, in deciding which of them is the best, there will probably be more discussion about FIFA the best and Ballon d’Or. Because the winner of The Best is determined by FIFA. However, even though people are more interested in Ballon d’Or!
History: France-based magazine called French Magazine; Basically gives the first personal prize (outside of any event) which is known as Ballon d’Or. Sir Stanley Matthews, an English footballer, won the award for the first time since 1956.
Rules for awarding prizes
Surprisingly, the Ballon d’Or was initially given only to European footballers. No European footballer is eligible for the Ballon d’Or. Even footballers who played in Europe did not get a place in the Ballon d’Or nominations.
Initially, the Ballon d’Or was awarded only to journalists. Until 2006, only journalists would decide who would receive the award. All national team coaches and captains have been eligible to vote for the award since 2007.
It is not just the vote that changes. There is also a change in the rules for giving rewards. Since 1995, Ballon d’Or has not only been won by European footballers. Those who were non-European but played for a European club could also be selected for the award.
George Wei, an African footballer, won the Ballon d’Or as the first non-European to do so in 1995. He won the award for his outstanding performance for Milan. Although this was the only Ballon d’Or in his career. Two years later, Ronaldo became the first Latin American and Brazilian footballer to win the Ballon d’Or.
The change in Ballon d’Or’s winner-fixing process then comes one more time. That was in 2007. This time Ballon d’Or was given a global award. In other words, it was announced that Ballon d’Or can be won from any league anywhere in the world. There is no need to play in the European League!
A combination of French magazines and FIFA
The French magazine would give the Ballon d’Or and FIFA would give the FIFA World Player of the Year award. However, in 2010 they decided to give the prize together. That is why its name was changed to ‘FIFA Ballon d’Or’. Lionel Messi, the superstar footballer of Barcelona and Argentina, won the award for the first time. He won a total of 4 Ballon d’Ors, including a maximum of 6 FIFA Ballon d’Or, the highest in history.
Separation of French magazines and FIFA
After 2015, they again decided to give awards in different ways. The French magazine then awarded the Ballon d’Or again, but FIFA changed the name of the award to ‘The Best’. Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo won these two awards in 2016.
A footballer who won the highest Ballon d’Or
Argentina and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi have won the highest Ballon d’Or. He has won the award a record 6 times. He just didn’t win the highest Ballon d’Or. He also holds the record for most consecutive Ballon d’Or wins. He won the Ballon d’Or four times in a row from 2009-2012.
He also won the other two Ballon d’Ors in 2015 and 2019. It’s good to know that Messi is the only player in history to have won the Ballon d’Or. Which is a little unbelievable!
Messi’s next rival is Cristiano Ronaldo with 5 Ballon d’Ors. He has won the award a total of 5 times for Manchester United and Real Madrid. After winning this award for the first time in 2008, he received this award 4 more times – in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017.
Johan Cruyff and Michelle Platini won the Ballon d’Or three times. However, Michel Platini became the first footballer to win 3 times in a row. He won this award 3 times from 1973-75. Cruyff won 3 times in 1971, 1973, and 1974.
The footballer of the club that won the highest Ballon d’Or
Messi has a maximum of 6 individual balloons for one club. Messi’s Barcelona has won the highest Ballon d’Or for any club. The players of this club have won Ballon d’Or a maximum of 12 times. A total of 6 footballers have won 12 times.
Real Madrid is also at No. 2 with 11 Ballon d’Ors. Where 7 footballers have won the award. Also, 6 Juventus footballers have won 8 times, which is the third-highest.
The player who won the highest Ballon d’Or
German footballers have won the Ballon d’Or a maximum of 7 times. A total of 5 players have won this award. Players from the Netherlands and Portugal have also won the award an equal number of times. However, 3 people won the award on their behalf. In addition, 4 people 6 for France and Messi has won 6 Ballon d’Ors for Argentina alone.
3 people from the same club in one year
3 people from the same club have been nominated in the shortlist of Ballon d’Or only 3 times. Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard (1988) were nominated for Milan in 1989 and 1988.
The following year, Van Basten, Franco Baresi, and Ricard were nominated for the same club. Although Van Basten won the award twice.
Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta were also nominated from Barcelona in 2010 where Xavi won the award.
Who won the Ballon d’Or as a goalkeeper?
A goalkeeper will win the Ballon d’Or, it’s probably like a fantasy. At least in this generation. However, this unimaginable thing was turned into reality by Lev Yassin. Arguably the best goalkeeper of all time, Dynamo won the Ballon d’Or in 1963 for his incredible performance for Moscow. He is still the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or.
World Cup and Ballon d’Or in the same year
Ballon d’Or with the World Cup in the same year, as if an incredible achievement. This list does not include Messi, who has won the highest Ballon d’Or, nor Ronaldo, who has won the second highest Ballon d’Or.
There is only one on this list. Fabio Cannavaro won the Ballon d’Or as the last defender. He achieved this unique feat when he won the World Cup for Italy in 2006. He also performed well for Juventus.
Just as the Ballon d’Or is in the hands of big footballers, there are also some big names who have never won the Ballon d’Or. If he gets there, Maradona’s name will be first.
Of course, Ballon d’Or’s then rule was that they never got a chance to get their hands on it. Ballon d’Or will probably have more regrets than them. Because they could not hand over this prestigious award in the hands of the best 2 people in history.