Who are All the Ballon d’Or Winners?
The coveted Ballon d’Or is awarded every year to the best male and female soccer players in the world.
Voted on by a panel of national team coaches and captains, the Ballon d’Or or ‘Golden Ball’ is the one award every soccer fan references to the debate about who was the best soccer player this year.
Amazing soccer players such as Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Johan Cruyff have been past winners of the trophy.
In this article, we’ll address some of the history behind the Golden Ball as well as a list of all the Ballon d’Or winners from every year.
History of the Ballon d’Or
The Ballon d’Or was first awarded in 1956. At the beginning, only European players were eligible to receive recognition.
However, in 1995 the award could be given to players from any part of the country as long as they played for a European club.
In 2007, the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award were merged to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or, which was awarded until 2015. Since then, the Ballon d’Or has been awarded independently.
Fairly recently in 2018, The Ballon d’Or Féminin (Women’s Ballon d’Or) was first introduced and given to the best female soccer player in the world.
Who Votes for the Ballon d’Or?
In 2022, the voting for the Ballon d’Or was modified to reflect voting rights for more established soccer nations.
In prior years, a journalist from 180 nations was identified and given a ballot. Each ballot consisted of picking top five players from a 30-player shortlist. These votes were then weighted and calculated by France Football to determine who came out on top.
Beginning 2022, the 180 nations were sliced to FIFA’s top 100 countries for the men’s Ballon d’Or and 50 countries for the women’s award. The actual voting process remained the same.
The motivation behind this was to make sure that countries where soccer is popularized can have a significant impact on the prestigious award.
Ballon d’Or Winners (Male)
|2022||Karim Benzema||France||Real Madrid|
|2021||Lionel Messi||Argentina||Paris Saint-Germain F.C.|
|2018||Luka Modric||Croatia||Real Madrid|
|2017||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Real Madrid|
|2016||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Real Madrid|
|2014||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Real Madrid|
|2013||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Real Madrid|
|2008||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Manchester United|
|2006||Fabio Cannavaro||Italy||Real Madrid|
|2000||Luís Figo||Portugal||Real Madrid|
|1996||Matthias Sammer||Germany||Borussia Dortmund|
|1992||Marco van Basten||Netherlands||Milan|
|1989||Marco van Basten||Netherlands||Milan|
|1988||Marco van Basten||Netherlands||Milan|
|1986||Igor Belanov||Soviet Union||Dynamo Kyiv|
|1981||Karl-Heinz Rummenigge||West Germany||Bayern Munich|
|1980||Karl-Heinz Rummenigge||West Germany||Bayern Munich|
|1977||Allan Simonsen||Denmark||Borussia M”nchengladbach|
|1976||Franz Beckenbauer||West Germany||Bayern Munich|
|1975||Oleg Blokhin||Soviet Union||Dynamo Kyiv|
|1972||Franz Beckenbauer||West Germany||Bayern Munich|
|1970||Gerd Müller||West Germany||Bayern Munich|
|1968||George Best||Northern Ireland||Manchester United|
|1967||Flórián Albert||Hungary||Ferencv rosi TC|
|1966||Bobby Charlton||England||Manchester United|
|1964||Denis Law||Scotland||Manchester United|
|1963||Lev Yashin||Soviet Union||Dynamo Moscow|
|1962||Josef Masopust||Czechoslovakia||Dukla Prague|
|1959||Alfredo Di Stéfano||Spain||Real Madrid|
|1958||Raymond Kopa||France||Real Madrid|
|1957||Alfredo Di Stéfano||Spain||Real Madrid|
Ballon d’Or Winners (Female)
|2019||Megan Rapinoe||USA||Reign FC|
|2018||Ada Hegerberg||Norway||Olympique Lyonnais|
Ballon d’Or Facts
- Lionel Messi won his first Ballon d’Or in 2010. He went on to win six more awards.
- Ada Hegerberg won the first ever Ballon d’Or Féminin.
- Karim Benzema is the oldest first-time winner of the Ballon d’Or. He was 34 years, 9 months and 29 days when he was awarded the trophy in 2022.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has received a Ballon d’Or vote every year since 2003.
- Man United have won twice as many Ballons d’Or as every other English club combined.
- Barcelona won the most Ballon d’Or by a soccer club.
- Lev Yashin also known as the “Black Spider” is the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or.