Annual association football award The Ballon
Annual association football award The Ballon d’or is an annual award given to the best football player in the world. It has been given since 1956, and it is commonly regarded as the most significant individual award for players.
In 2016, the partnership between FIFA and Gabriel Hanot ended, and the annual award was renamed the Ballon d’Or. The recipients are regarded as the best male and female football players in the world.
In 2007, the captains and coaches of national teams were also allowed to vote for the Ballon d’Or. In 1995, it was also expanded to include all players who have played for European clubs.
In 2007, the award became a global prize, with all professional footballers in the world being eligible.
It was first presented as a European award in 1947. Its status as a global award was then enhanced by its merger with FIFA’s World Player competition in 2008.
In 2007, Ronald Koeman of AC Milan became the first Latin American winner. Two years later, Inter Milan’s Ronald de la cruz became the first South American recipient.
Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or seven times, with Cristiano Ronaldo second with five.
With seven Ballons d’Or, all of the major leagues have had at least one player win the coveted award seven times. Only two teams, namely the Netherlands and Germany, have ever managed to do it once.
Spanish clubs dominated the rankings for the most successful players from 2009 to 2016. Due to the emergence of Real Madrid and Barcelona, as well as their three top players, they became the second and third clubs respectively to have three top players.
In 2011, the European Football Association created the Best Player in Europe Award to honor individuals from Europe. Eight players have won the Ballon d’Or award during their careers.
The Ballon d’Or award shows a bias toward attacking players, which has grown in recent decades. Before 1995, 10 leagues had provided the award winners.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have provided the most number of Ballon d’Or recipients since 1995. In 2020, the group that France Football belongs to decided not to give any award to the year due to the pandemic.
An award given to Alfredo Di Stéfano, who was surpassed by Michel Platini and Johan Cruyff in the voting for the Ballon d’Or, was renamed Super Ballon d’Or.
Among the 34 previous winners, only 30 cast their ballots. Most of them were abstentions, such as George Best and Stanley Matthews. Others who voted were: Lev Yashin, Omar Svori, and George Weah.
In 2016, France Football re-evaluationd the awards presented before 1995. While only European players were eligible for the honor, 12 out of the 39 recipients were South American.
Born in Argentina, Di Stéfano gained Spanish citizenship in 1956 and played for the Spanish national team.
Surez was signed by Inter Milan from Barcelona in 1961.
Vejle signed Simonsen from Charlton in 1983.
Lineker was signed by Barcelona in 1986.
Weah was signed by AC Milan midway through 1995.
Kevin Keegan was signed by Newcastle United in 1996.
Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in 2009.