Ballon d’Or is football’s one of the most prestigious awards. It is football’s oldest personal accolade, which was established in 1956. Between 2010 to 2015, France Football formed a partnership with FIFA to briefly combine the Ballon d’Or with the FIFA World Player of the Year award, which was established in 1991. During these six years, the new award was known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or. The award has been given every year since 1956, with the exception of last year, when the organizers chose to cancel it because of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic, which cut the domestic seasons of several countries short. Stanley Mathews of England was the inaugural recipient of this award in 1956 and George Weah was the first African to receive the award. Moreover, Lev Yashin was the first and the only goalkeeper in history to win the Ballon d’Or. But who has won the most, let’s find out the most Ballon d’or winners.
Most Ballon d’or winners list
|Position||Player (ballon d’or winners by year)||Country||Ballon d’Or||Seasons|
|1||Lionel Messi||Argentina||6||2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019|
|2||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||5||2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017|
|3||Michel Platini||France||3||1983, 1984, 1985|
|4||Johan Cruyff||Netherlands||3||1971, 1973, 1974|
|5||Marco van Basten||Netherlands||3||1988, 1989, 1992|
|6||Franz Beckenbauer||Germany||2||1972, 1976|
|8||Alfredo Di Stefano||Argentina||2||1957, 1959|
|9||Kevin Keegan||England||2||1978, 1979|
|10||Karl-Heinz Rummenigge||Germany||2||1980, 1981|
Most Ballon d’or winners: Lionel Messi
The obvious name that tops this list is of course Messi’s. The Argentine has won six Ballon d’Or with the club of his heart, Barcelona. Messi is the first player in history to win four Ballon d’Or in four consecutive seasons. The PSG winger is among the favorites to win his 7th Ballon d’Or this year. He ranks 2st in the list of most Ballon d’or winners.
Ballon d’or winners: Cristiano Ronaldo
Another obvious name that comes second on this list is CR7’s. Both Messi and Ronaldo give tough competition to each other. The Portuguese has won 5 Ballon d’Or. He won his first at Man Utd in 2008. Later he slotted his move to Real Madrid and won the rest 4 awards with the Los Blancos. He is following Messi & stands at 2nd spot in Ballon d’or winners.
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Ballon d’or winners: Michel Platini
Michel Platini is regarded as one of the greatest attacking midfielders of all time. The former French international has won the award thrice with Italian giants Juventus for three consecutive seasons. After his career as a player and manager, Platini was elected as UEFA but was later banned due to ethical violations.
Johan Cruyff is considered one of the most historic players and managers. He is a true figure in Holland as well as in Camp Nou, Barcelona. The former Dutch international won the award thrice, one at Ajax and the other two at Barca. Cruyff enjoyed his golden period at Barcelona both as a coach and a player.
Marco Van Basten
Van Basten is one of the finest finishes in the game’s history. Due to an injury, he was forced to retire at the age of 30. Nevertheless, the Dutchman enjoyed a stellar career and won three Ballon d’Or in his career with AC Milan. Van Basten later managed Ajax and AC Milan.
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Franz Beckenbauer is regarded as a legendary player and one of the greatest defenders of all time. He is the first defender to win this prestigious award not once but twice with his club Bayern Munich. Elegant playing style, leadership, and sheer talent on the pitch, no one could get past against the German defender.
Brazillian legend Ronaldo is among the greatest players of all time. The R9 also won the Ballon d’Or twice, the first one at Inter Milan and the second at Real Madrid. The Phenomenon was is among the most decorated football player of his time, who won every major trophy.
Alfredo Di Stefano
Alfredo Di Stefano was truly a Real Madrid legend and was an integral part of their European success. The Argentine won two Ballon d’Or wide the Los Blancos. Also known as “Saeta Rubia” (“Blond Arrow”) Di Stefano was a strong, swift, skillful, and prolific forward with exceptional tactical adaptability, inventiveness, and vision.
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Joseph Kevin Keegan is a retired England player and manager. He was a striker for a number of clubs, namely Newcastle United, Southampton, Liverpool, and Hamburg SV. The English striker won both the awards consecutively at Hamburg SV in the years 1978 and 1979.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a German and Bayern Munich legend. Rummenigge was regarded as one of the most skilled offensive players of his time, capable of playing as a second striker, winger, or straight-up center-forward. The German maestro won back-to-back Ballon d’Or for the Bavarians.