Saturday, April 1, 2023

Who Has Won The Most Ballon d’Or Awards in History?

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The Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) is the most prestigious individual football award in the world. The award is presented by the France Football magazine. Initially, only European players were eligible for this award. Over the course of time, it was expanded to players playing in European leagues (regardless of their country of origin) and eventually to all professional football players in the world. The award is decided on the basis of the votes of sports writers, national team coaches, and captains. The teams must be within the top 100 of the FIFA rankings for the captains and coaches to be eligible for voting. In recent years, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award, but many legendary names have won the award in previous years. In this post, we will find out about them.

Here are the top 10 winners of the Ballon d’Or award:

Kevin Keegan – 2

Although the English football player, who spent the best periods of his career in the Hamburg club, could not have a successful career in the national team, he won the Ballon d’Or award in 1978 and 1979, especially for his performance in Hamburg. The “Mighty Mouse” was a true football legend in every sense of the word.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – 2

The former German striker spent the best part of his career at Bayern Munich. With Bayern Munich, he won the Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1975 and 1976. The most striking feature of the football player was his dribbling ability. At the same time, the player who improved his hitting ability over the years was also talked about for years. The “Red Baron” won the Ballon d’Or award in 1980 and 1981.

Alfredo Di Stefano – 2

He is the oldest football player on the list. The football player, who started football at the age of 17 with the River Plate team, won 6 league championships here. He transferred to Real Madrid in 1953. Here, the footballer won 8 La Liga, 1 Copa del Rey, 5 European Champion Clubs’ Cups and 1 Intercontinental Cup. Alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, “La Saeta Rubia” is one of the greatest players to have played for Los Blancos.

In 2009, Pele declared him as the best player of all time in the world.

The veteran former football player won the Ballon d’Or in 1957 and 1959.

Ronaldo “Fenomeno” – 2

The legendary Brazilian striker, Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima, the man whose combination of speed, strength and skill is the most lethal in football history, is one of the greatest players to ever play the beautiful game. He might’ve been the greatest player of all time if it wasn’t for his devastating injuries. However, despite the injuries, he still achieved a lot in his career. The Brazilian football player, whose career was very successful, marked the 1998 and 2002 World Cups. The injuries suffered by the football player, who is known for his incredible finishing, made his career difficult from time to time.

He won the Ballon d’Or in 1997 and 2002.

Franz Beckenbauer – 2

Widely known as the best defender and front winger ever, Der Kaiser won the Ballon d’Or award in 1972 and 1976 as a defender. The German legend drew attention with his ability to make plays as well as defend. Franz Beckenbauer is a true icon of football and a legend in Germany.

Johan Cruyff – 3

The legendary football player, known as the Yellow Mouse, scored legendary goals for Ajax and Barcelona clubs. After his legendary seasons with Ajax in 1971 and 1973, he won the Ballon d’Or award twice. The football player, who was transferred to Barcelona afterward, continued his outstanding performance there and managed to win the award again in 1974. He is widely credited for changing football by ushering in the concept of “Total Football”, a style of play where every player on the field can play every position.

Marco van Basten – 3

The legendary football player of AC Milan was one of the players who dominated his era. Although the successful striker had to quit football after suffering an injury at the age of 28, he is considered one of the best strikers of all time. During his career, the “Swan of Utrecht” scored 277 goals. During his dominant time with AC Milan, he won the Serie A four times and the European Cup three times.

The Dutch legend won the Ballon d’Or in 1988, 1989, and 1992.

Michel Platini – 3

He became the first player to win the Ballon d’Or award 3 times in a row. “Le Roi” was arguably the greatest player of his era and had outstanding goal-scoring abilities. French legend Thierry Henry has always cited Platini as his biggest inspiration and called him the greatest French football player of all time (alongside Zinedine Zidane). The footballing great had a fall from grace in his post football career as UEFA President. He was banned from football for 4 years due to corruption in 2015.

Michel Platini won the Ballon d’Or in 1983, 1984, and 1985.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 5

We are very lucky to be able to watch the football player, one of the best football players in history, live on the field. The football player, who has been at the top for years with Lionel Messi, still shows incredible performances. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have shared the stage for 16 years and made the Ballon d’Or their private property during that time. As a matter of fact, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won all but one of the Ballon d’Or awards between 2009 and 2021 (Luka Modric won in 2018).

Starting his professional career with Sporting Lisbon, the football player has played for giants such as Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, where he plays football actively. His peak as a football player was definitely during his nine years at Real Madrid where he scored a staggering 451 goals in 438 matches. Lionel Messi might’ve had a more accomplished career overall, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s stint with Madrid is football (especially goalscoring) at its peak. He managed to show his difference again and again in every team he went to and equaled countless records.

He was the winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Lionel Messi – 7

Finally, there is Lionel Messi, the leader of our list and perhaps the greatest player to ever play football. Perhaps the most talented football player of all time in the world. In the competition with Cristiano Ronaldo, he is the one who prevailed on the basis of the Ballon d’Or.  And now he has won the World Cup with Argentina as well. He has “completed” football. The diminutive Argentine has nothing else to prove but he is still going strong and has no plans to retire. 

The football player, who spent the majority of his career in Barcelona, ​​the club he came from, showed his loyalty for years. Barcelona’s financial woes and their inability to pay Messi’s wages resulted in him moving to PSG on a free transfer. However, his brilliance continued over there as well and he won another Ballon d’Or. Lionel Messi has the most Ballon d’Or awards in history and if you listen to Barcelona forward Robert Lewandowski, he is the favourite for yet another trophy. Here’s what Lewandowski said: “Of course. There is maybe one more player playing for the same club but there is only one World Cup that decides who is going to win it this season and Leo is now in the top position for sure because of what he has achieved which means everything to him. Now he can enjoy it.”

Lionel Messi has been the winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 and 2021. We wonder if the GOAT can add to his tally at the end of this season. Winning the Champions League will be tough, but with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar on his side, Lionel Messi might just pull it off.

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