Who are All the Ballon d’Or Winners?

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

Ballon d'Or trophyThe 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)

2022Karim BenzemaFranceReal Madrid
2021Lionel MessiArgentinaParis Saint-Germain F.C.
2019Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2018Luka ModricCroatiaReal Madrid
2017Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2016Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2015Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2014Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2013Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid
2012Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2011Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2010Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2009Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona
2008Cristiano RonaldoPortugalManchester United
2006Fabio CannavaroItalyReal Madrid
2004Andriy ShevchenkoUkrainMilan
2003Pavel NedvědCzechiaJuventus
2002RonaldoBrazilReal Madrid
2001Michael OwenEnglandLiverpool
2000Luís FigoPortugalReal Madrid
1998Zinedine ZidaneFranceJuventus
1996Matthias SammerGermanyBorussia Dortmund
1995George WeahLiberiaMilan
1994Hristo StoichkovBulgariaBarcelona
1993Roberto BaggioItalyJuventus
1992Marco van BastenNetherlandsMilan
1991Jean-Pierre PapinFranceMarseille
1990Lothar MatthäusGermanyInternazionale
1989Marco van BastenNetherlandsMilan
1988Marco van BastenNetherlandsMilan
1987Ruud GullitNetherlandsMilan
1986Igor BelanovSoviet UnionDynamo Kyiv
1985Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus
1984Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus
1983Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus
1982Paolo RossiItalyJuventus
1981Karl-Heinz RummeniggeWest GermanyBayern Munich
1980Karl-Heinz RummeniggeWest GermanyBayern Munich
1979Kevin KeeganEnglandHamburg
1978Kevin KeeganEnglandHamburg
1977Allan SimonsenDenmarkBorussia M”nchengladbach
1976Franz BeckenbauerWest GermanyBayern Munich
1975Oleg BlokhinSoviet UnionDynamo Kyiv
1974Johan CruyffNetherlandsBarcelona
1973Johan CruyffNetherlandsBarcelona
1972Franz BeckenbauerWest GermanyBayern Munich
1971Johan CruyffNetherlandsAjax
1970Gerd MüllerWest GermanyBayern Munich
1969Gianni RiveraItalyMilan
1968George BestNorthern IrelandManchester United
1967Flórián AlbertHungaryFerencv rosi TC
1966Bobby CharltonEnglandManchester United
1964Denis LawScotlandManchester United
1963Lev YashinSoviet UnionDynamo Moscow
1962Josef MasopustCzechoslovakiaDukla Prague
1961Omar SívoriItalyJuventus
1960Luis SuárezSpainBarcelona
1959Alfredo Di StéfanoSpainReal Madrid
1958Raymond KopaFranceReal Madrid
1957Alfredo Di StéfanoSpainReal Madrid
1956Stanley MatthewsEnglandBlackpool

Ballon d’Or Winners (Female)

2022Alexia PutellasSpainBarcelona
2021Alexia PutellasSpainBarcelona
2019Megan RapinoeUSAReign FC
2018Ada HegerbergNorwayOlympique 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.
Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created soccernovo.com to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

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