List: Who has won the most Ballon d’Or?

Since its inception in 1956, the Ballon d’Or has been regarded as the most prestigious individual award in the world of football. Presented annually by France Football magazine, this accolade recognizes the player deemed to have performed exceptionally throughout the year, exhibiting extraordinary skills, talent, and influence on the game.

While numerous exceptional players have graced the footballing world, only a select few have managed to dominate the Ballon d’Or rankings, leaving an unforgettable mark on the history of the sport.

In this article, we will dive into the top 10 players with the most Ballon d’Or awards, celebrating their remarkable achievements and contributions to the beautiful game.

List: Players with most Ballon d’Or

PlayerNo. of Ballon d’Or wins
Lionel Messi7
Cristiano Ronaldo5
Johan Cruyff3
Marco van Basten3
Michel Platini3
Franz Beckenbauer2
Alfredo Di Stefano2
Kevin Keegan2
Karl Heinz-Rummenigge2

What is Ballon d’Or: The Most Prestigious Individual Award in Football

The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football since 1956. It is widely regarded as the most prestigious individual award in football, and is often referred to as the “Golden Ball”.

The award is given to the male player who was deemed to have played the best football over the previous 12 months. Voters are football journalists from around the world, and each voter selects their top five players. The player with the most points is awarded the Ballon d’Or.

The Ballon d’Or has been won by some of the greatest players in history, including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Johan Cruyff, and Pelé. Messi has won the award a record seven times, while Ronaldo has won it five times.

The Ballon d’Or has a long and storied history. It was originally awarded only to European players, but this was changed in 1995 to include all players from any origin who have been active at European clubs. In 2007, coaches and captains of national teams were also given the right to vote.

The Ballon d’Or has been through some changes over the years. In 2010, it was merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year award to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or. However, this partnership ended in 2016, and the award reverted to the Ballon d’Or.

The Ballon d’Or is still considered to be the most prestigious individual award in football. It is a highly coveted prize, and players who win it are considered to be among the best in the world.

Players with most Ballon d’Or Awards: Overview

1. Lionel Messi – 7 Ballon d’Or Awards

Arguably the greatest player of his generation, Lionel Messi has mesmerized fans and pundits alike with his incredible skills and unrivalled consistency. The Argentine maestro has claimed the Ballon d’Or crown a record-breaking seven times, earning the honour in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, and 2021.

His win the year 2021 takes Messi’s Ballon d’Or tally to 7, which is most by any footballer. Throughout his illustrious career, Messi has showcased exceptional dribbling, vision, and goal-scoring ability, becoming an icon of FC Barcelona as well as for his country Argentina and leaving an iconic mark on the game.

2. Cristiano Ronado – 5 Ballon d’Or Awards

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo stands tall as one of the most complete athletes in football history. Renowned for his remarkable athleticism, goal-scoring prowess, and unwavering work ethic, Ronaldo has secured the Ballon d’Or award five times. He won his first in 2008, followed by triumphs in 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017, making him the second most Ballon d’Or winner.

Ronaldo’s ability to perform consistently at the highest level, along with his success at multiple top clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, has cemented his legacy as an all-time great. His determination, versatility, and ability to deliver on the biggest stages have solidified his status as one of the best clutch players in the footballing world.

3. Michael Platini – 3 Ballon d’Or Awards

French midfield maestro Michel Platini made a lasting impact on the game during the 1980s. Known for his elegant playing style, exceptional passing, and remarkable goal-scoring ability, Platini secured three consecutive Ballon d’Or titles from 1983 to 1985.

Platini’s vision, passing range, and remarkable free-kick prowess made him an influential figure for both his country and his club, Juventus. Hence, he is present on the most Ballon d’Or winner list.

4. Johan Cruyff – 3 Ballon d’Or Awards

Johan Cruyff, the Dutch mastermind, revolutionized the game with his innovative playing style and exceptional skill set. Cruyff claimed the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1971, 1973, and 1974, leaving an enduring legacy as one of the game’s most influential figures.

Known for his ability to control the game from his position as an attacking midfielder, his unparalleled vision and sublime dribbling made him play a vital role in the success of both Ajax and Barcelona.

5. Marco Van Bastern – 3 Ballon d’Or Awards

The Netherlands’ Marco van Basten was a lethal striker who possessed extraordinary technical abilities and a knack for scoring spectacular goals. Van Basten secured the Ballon d’Or three times, winning the prestigious award in 1988, 1989, and 1992. Unfortunately, injuries cut his career short, but his impact on the game remains significant and he remains as one of the finest forwards in football history.

6. Franz Beckenbauer – 2 Ballon d’Or Awards

German football icon Franz Beckenbauer, known as “Der Kaiser,” was a versatile and intelligent player who revolutionized the role of the modern defender. Beckenbauer received the Ballon d’Or twice, in 1972 and 1976. His exceptional leadership, tactical understanding, and elegance on the ball made him a true pioneer of the game. He played a crucial role in Germany’s World Cup triumphs in 1974 as a player and in 1990 as a coach.

7. Ronaldo Nazario – 2 Ballon d’Or Awards

Brazil’s Ronaldo Nazário, often referred to as “Il Fenomeno,” was a true force of nature on the football pitch. He is known for his explosive speed, incredible skill, and clinical finishing which made him a nightmare for defenders. Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or twice, in 1997 and 2002. Despite battling numerous injuries, he left an indelible mark on the game, captivating fans with his mesmerizing performances.

8. Alfredo di Stefano – 2 Ballon d’Or Awards

Alfredo Di Stéfano, the Argentine-Spanish legend, played an integral role in Real Madrid’s dominance during the 1950s and 1960s. Di Stéfano was awarded the Ballon d’Or twice, in 1957 and 1959. His impact on the Spanish giants and his influence on the modern game cannot be overstated. His leadership, versatility, and goal-scoring prowess were instrumental in the club’s five consecutive European Cup triumphs.

9. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – 2 Ballon d’Or Awards

German striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was a prolific goalscorer and a true talent on the field. His clinical finishing and ability to read the game made him a standout player during his era. And landed him on the list of most Ballon d’Or winners.

Rummenigge received the Ballon d’Or twice, in 1980 and 1981, leaving an enduring legacy in the world of football. Rummenigge’s successful spells at Bayern Munich and Inter Milan solidified his reputation as one of the best players of his era.

10. Kevin Keegan – 2 Ballon d’Or Awards

Kevin Keegan, the English footballer, claimed the prestigious Ballon d’Or award twice during his illustrious career. He received the honor in 1978 and 1979. Keegan’s dynamic playing style, exceptional goal-scoring ability, and leadership qualities made him a standout player for both Liverpool and the England national team.

The list of players with the most Ballon d’Or awards represents the pinnacle of individual excellence in football. Lionel Messi’s record-breaking seven awards and Cristiano Ronaldo’s five highlight their extraordinary dominance over the past decade.

The other legends on this list have also left an indelible mark on the game, showcasing their unique talents and contributing to the rich history of football. These players have not only defined their respective eras but have also inspired countless future generations to strive for greatness on the football pitch.

Now that we know who the most most Ballon d’Or winner list comprises, let’s try to understand how it works.

How to Win a Ballon d’Or

There are a few things that players can do to increase their chances of winning a Ballon d’Or. First, they need to be consistently playing at a high level. They need to be scoring goals, creating chances, and helping their team win games.

Second, they need to be winning trophies. The Ballon d’Or is not just about individual performance, it is also about team success. Players who win the Champions League, the World Cup, or other major trophies are more likely to win the Ballon d’Or.

Third, they need to be getting attention from the media. The Ballon d’Or is a popularity contest, and players who are in the headlines are more likely to win. Players who score amazing goals, make incredible saves, or do something else that catches the eye of the media are more likely to be considered for the award.

Of course, there is no guarantee that even if a player does all of these things, they will win the Ballon d’Or. There are many other factors that go into the voting, such as the player’s nationality, the team they play for, and the overall strength of their competition.

However, if a player can consistently perform at a high level, win trophies, and get attention from the media, they will be well on their way to winning the Ballon d’Or.

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