Football

Top 10 players with most Ballon d’Or awards

Lionel Messi has won seven Ballon d'Or trophies: Skysports
  • The Ballon d’Or is one of the most prestigious awards an individual can receive. 
  • This prestigious award is given to a player who excels in a calendar year
  • Only the best soccer players in the world can compete for the prestigious award

 France Football honours individuals with the Ballon d’Or award after receiving votes from journalists. Football has produced some incredible players over the years.

They have won this award several times, and even winning it once is a significant accomplishment.

The Ballon d’Or was first awarded to European players and then to players from clubs across the continent. However, beginning in 2007, the awards’ scope expanded to include all corners of the globe, with every player eligible.

Messi was the winner of the 2021 edition, and he has won the award the most times. However, it is interesting to note how many times he has won the Ballon d’Or compared to other players.

Here are the top ten players in football history with the most Ballon d’Or awards:

10. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – 2

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: Photo: Bundesliga

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a legend of FC Bayern Munich and Germany. He received the Ballon d’Or twice. His first award came in 1980, and his second came in 1981.

With the German national team, the three-time Bundesliga top-scorer also won two European club championships (UCL), two league titles, and one UEFA Euro title.

 9. Kevin Keegan – 2

Keegan is a Liverpool club legend who also represented England at the international level. He won the Ballon d’Or twice, in 1978 and 1979.

With the Reds, he won 11 trophies, including three English Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League (previously known as European Champions Clubs’ Cup).

8. Alfredo Di Stefano – 2

 Di Stefano, one of Spain’s most dangerous forwards, died in 2014. In 1957 and 1959, the iconic striker won the Ballon d’Or.

He won the Champions League five times while at Real Madrid and the Spanish league eight times. He also won the La Liga Golden Boot five times.

7 Ronaldo Nazario -2

Ronaldo won three Ballon d’Or awards: Goal.com

The ‘original’ Ronaldo, as many claims, also won the Ballon d’Or twice. In 1997 and 2002, he received a prestigious award.

His performance at the 2002 World Cup was critical in Brazil’s victory. In football, he is regarded as a legendary striker who commands enormous respect.

The two-time World Cup winner is one of the few players to have played for both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

6. Franz Beckenbauer – 2

 Beckenbauer, also renowned as the “Father of the Sweeper Defensive Role,” is an idol in football. In 1972 and 1976, the retired German national player won the Ballon d’Or.

He spent a lot of time with FC Bayern Munich, winning the UEFA Champions League three times. He won the Bundesliga five times and the World Cup and Euros with Germany.

5. Marco van Basten – 3

Marco van Basten is one of only five players to have won the Ballon d’Or three times or more. The legendary Dutch footballer won it thrice in 1988, 1989, and 1992.

He won one UEFA Euro and two Champions League titles with the Netherlands national team with Milan.

4. Johan Cruyff – 3

In the world of football, Johan Cruyff commands enormous respect. He was at the forefront of promoting the “Total Football” philosophy, which revolutionised football and continues to influence it today.

With Ajax, the Dutch epic won the European club trophy three times.

With FC Barcelona, he also won the Eredivisie nine times and the Spanish La Liga once. Cruyff won the Ballon d’Or three times: in 1971, 1973, and 1974.

 3. Michel Platini – 3

Michel Platini, a former French football star, won the Ballon d’Or three times in a row. He received the award thrice in 1983, 1984, and 1985.

Platini was one of the best midfielders of his generation, winning one UEFA Euro with France, one UCL, and two Serie A titles with Juventus. Until 2015, he was also the President of UEFA.

 2. Cristiano Ronaldo – 5

Cristiano Ronaldo has won five Ballon dO’r awards. Photo: Getty Images

Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times in total. Between 2008 and 2021, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo won the award 12 times. The Ballon d’Or was a two-horse race between these two football legends in the recent past. 

The award was given to CR7l in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. He finished the second six times.

1 Lionel Messi – 7

Lionel Messi holds the record for the most Ballon d’Or awards. He won it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021. This may be the most impressive of his many accomplishments.

Because of Messi’s longevity and uniformity at the highest level, it is a record that may never be broken. All his Ballon d’Or victories came while playing for FC Barcelona, and he has yet to win one while playing for Paris Saint-Germain.

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