Annually, besides waiting for the champion of Premier League, Champion Leagues or FIFA World Cup to be awarded, the supporters also look forward to the winner of Ballon d’Or. This is the highest individual title in the football world, assigned to the year’s best player.
FIFA has always had fair assessments to grant this title to a truly-worthy player. So far, World Cup Ballon d’Or has not gone to the player of the champion team. There are very few controversies in voting.
The truth is every player desires to receive at least one golden ball in his life. However, several ultra-excellent players have honored by France Football more than once.
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Who are they?
The History of Ballon d’Or Award
Back to 1956 when the first Ballon d’Or was given to Stanley Matthews – an English player of Blackpool.
The idea of this award came from the sports reporter of France Football, Mr. Hanot, asking his colleagues to vote for the best European player.
At that time, only the players from European was eligible to be considered for Ballon d’Or. Hence, it was so-called the award for “European Player of The Year.”
France Football changed the rules once in 1995. Accordingly, any player regardless of nationality who played for one European club could receive the Ballon d’Or.
George Weah, playing for A.C.Milan was the first outsider to win this award.
In 2007, the rule changed for the second time. Since then, players from all countries have been eligible for the title even if they do not play in Europe.
From 2009 t0 2015, Ballon d’Or was merged with the FIFA’s Player of The Year before being separated again in 2016.
In 2018, Ada Hegerberg became the first female Ballon d’Or winner ever.
How to Find The Annual Winner of Ballon d’Or?
The selection for Best Player of The Year is disclosed to the public with the participation of all national team captain and coaches, along with international specialist journalists. Each year, there are around 500 voters from 170 nations.
The attendants get a draft to select three players they deemed to have the best performance in the year. The chosen list is in descending order.
The performance here is not only the number of goals but the performance on the field and behaviors off the field.
The best player must play an essential role in the team’s success and more importantly, be fair-play.
Take Luis Suarez for example. He plays well but always gets lower votes because of his aggressiveness.
Also, the voters can pick players affiliated with their own country. The team captains are not allowed to vote for themselves. Their votes for national or club colleagues; however, are acceptable.
In the end, the drafts are returned to the organization to calculate points. Then, the winner of the Ballon d’Or will be revealed.
List of 10 All-time Ballon d’Or Winners
Messi – The first player winning 5 Ballon d’Or Trophies
In 2015, the striker Lionel Messi officially entered the history of the football world when overtaking Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar for the fifth Ballon d’Or. Messi had won 4 consecutive trophies in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
That year, the Argentine superstar’s had a more than “excellent” performance with many memorable landmarks.
The most proudly, he and his colleagues achieved the La Liga and Champions League double cups in 2014/2015, which contributed to Barca’s top 5 valuable titles, along with Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Cup.
Messi is playing very well in the 2018/2019 season. In the match on March 14th, Messi had a dazzling performance, which contributed significantly to the 5-1 victory of Barca over Lyon.
In 2019, Messi is expected to break many records set by Ronaldo such as the most goals in a season, the most goals in the Champions League final, most hat-tricks goals in Champions League history.
Especially, the “Super” Ballon d’Or by France Football within 30 years.
Ronaldo – Be equal in Ballon d’Or to Messi in 2017
Ronaldo and Messi are two contemporary legends in the football world. They chase tightly after each other on almost every title, including the Ballon d’Or.
These two players had dominated the Ballon d’Or for a decade before it was broken by Luka Modric in 2018.
Receiving 5 Ballon d’Or trophies after the younger Messi does not mean CR7 plays worse. In fact, Ronaldo has surpassed Messi in many other title races.
Ronaldo is an ambitious player who makes an effort as dozens of times as other players to achieve those goals.
This year, he is also certainly heading towards the Super Golden Ball.
Visit here to follow CR7’s performances in 2018/2019 season.
Johan Cruyff – 3 Ballon d’Or in the 1970s
Cruyff is considered one of the most influential people in the history of world football, who is called “Saint Johan.” He is well known for his frank opinions and suggestions.
In his youth, Johan was a great player who was honored three times in the Ballon d’Or prize.
After retiring, Cruyff began his career as a coach, who led Ajax from 1985 to 1988 before turning to Barca and working for this club until 1996. It was “Saint Johan” who created the famous reputation for La Masia training furnace.
He passed away in March 2016.
Michel Platini – 3 consecutive trophies from 1983 t0 1985
As a former player at Juventus Michel François Platini was a legend and was praised for his innate talent. During his years of football, he earned three consecutive Ballon d’Or. After retiring, he continued passionating with the pitch when becoming the coach at many big clubs.
He was the Chairman of the Union of European Football Associations from 2007 to 2016.
In 2015, Michel Platini was accused of taking bribes amounting to 1.8 million euros. Platini said that was the unpaid salary due to his job as an advisor, but failed to submit any documents to prove this.
In 2018, he was acquitted by the court.
Marco van Basten – 3 Ballon d’Or in AC Milan Uniform
Basten is one of the most talents that had a short time to play in the field before retiring early due to severe injury.
At the age of 17, Van Basten officially started his professional career. Two years later, he was recruited to the Dutch youth team to attend the World Youth Football League. There, Van Basten won 3 national championships, 3 Dutch National Cups and a European C2 Cup.
When he moved to AC Milan, Van Basten, together with his team, experienced the most heyday in the history of AC Milan.
Van Basten achieved three Ballon d’Or trophies in 1988, 1989 and 1992 – equal to the record of master Johan Cruyff and French football legend Michel Platini.
Who Will Be The Next Winner of Ballon d’Or in 2019?
Both Ronaldo and Messi are playing hard to earn their 6th trophy. However, they are not the only ones on the race. The French striker, Mbappe, is another candidate. Although he was only 19 years old, he has played prominently in the past two seasons, and also recently with his colleagues became 2018 World Cup championship.