All Ballon d'Or Winners From 1956 To 2022

Winning the Ballon d’Or solidifies a player’s legacy as the best player of the year. The origin of the award goes back to 1956, making it one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in Football.

The award is given by France Football, a French news magazine. Till now, more than forty footballers have won the prize. In this article, you will find:

  • All Ballon d’Or Winners List
  • A Brief History of Ballon d’Or
  • How is the Winner Decided?
  • Ballon d’Or Dream Teams
  • Great Players Who Did Not Win The Ballon d’Or

A List of All Ballon d’Or Winners

1956Stanley MatthewsEnglandBlackpool47Outside Right
1957Alfredo Di StéfanoSpainReal Madrid72Forward, Attacking Midfielder
1958Raymond KopaFranceReal Madrid71Attacking Midfielder
1959Alfredo Di StéfanoSpainReal Madrid80Forward, Attacking Midfielder
1960Luis SuárezSpainBarcelona54Attacking Midfielder
1961Omar SívoriItalyJuventus46Forward
1962Josef MasopustCzechoslovakiaDukla Prague65Midfielder
1963Lev YashinSoviet UnionDynamo Moscow73Goalkeeper
1964Denis LawScotlandManchester United61Center Forward
1966Bobby CharltonEnglandManchester United81Midfielder, Forward
1967Flórián AlbertHungaryFerencvarosi TC68Forward
1968George BestNorthern IrelandManchester United61Winger, Attacking Midfielder
1969Gianni RiveraItalyMilan83Forward, Attacking Midfielder
1970Gerd MüllerWest GermanyBayern Munich77Striker
1971Johan CruyffNetherlandsAjax116Forward, Attacking Midfielder
1972Franz BeckenbauerWest GermanyBayern Munich81Defender
1973Johan CruyffNetherlandsBarcelona96Forward, Attacking Midfielder
1974Johan CruyffNetherlandsBarcelona116Forward, Attacking Midfielder
1975Oleg BlokhinSoviet UnionDynamo Kyiv122Forward
1976Franz BeckenbauerWest GermanyBayern Munich91Defender
1977Allan SimonsenDenmarkBorussia M” Monchengladbach74Striker
1978Kevin KeeganEnglandHamburg87Forward
1979Kevin KeeganEnglandHamburg118Forward
1980Karl-Heinz RummeniggeWest GermanyBayern Munich122Forward
1981Karl-Heinz RummeniggeWest GermanyBayern Munich106Forward
1982Paolo RossiItalyJuventus115Striker
1983Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus110Midfielder
1984Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus110Midfielder
1985Michel PlatiniFranceJuventus127Midfielder
1986Igor BelanovSoviet UnionDynamo Kyiv84Striker
1987Ruud GullitNetherlandsMilan106Forward, Midfielder
1988Marco Van BastenNetherlandsMilan129Striker
1989Marco Van BastenNetherlandsMilan129Striker
1990Lothar MatthäusGermanyInternazionale137Midfielder, Sweeper
1991Jean-Pierre PapinFranceMarseille141Striker
1992Marco Van BastenNetherlandsMilan98Striker
1993Roberto BaggioItalyJuventus142Forward, Attacking Midfielder
1994Hristo StoichkovBulgariaBarcelona210Forward
1995George WeahLiberiaMilan144Striker
1996Matthias SammerGermanyBorussia Dortmund144Defender
1998Zinedine ZidaneFranceJuventus244Attacking Midfielder
2000Luís FigoPortugalReal Madrid197Winger
2001Michael OwenEnglandLiverpool176Striker
2002RonaldoBrazilReal Madrid169Striker
2003Pavel NedvědCzechiaJuventus190Midfielder
2004Andriy ShevchenkoUkraineMilan175Striker
2005RonaldinhoBrazilBarcelona225Attacking Midfielder, Winger
2006Fabio CannavaroItalyReal Madrid173Center Back
2007KakáBrazilMilan444Attacking Midfielder
2008Cristiano RonaldoPortugalManchester United446Forward
2009Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona473Forward
2010Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona22.65%Forward
2011Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona47.88%Forward
2012Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona41.60%Forward
2013Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid27.99%Forward
2014Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid37.77%Forward
2015Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona41.33%Forward
2016Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid745Forward
2017Cristiano RonaldoPortugalReal Madrid946Forward
2018Luka ModricCroatiaReal Madrid753Midfielder
2019Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona686Forward
2020Not Awarded
2021Lionel MessiArgentinaBarcelona613Forward
2022Karim BenzemaFranceReal Madrid549Striker

Quick Stats

  • 45 players have won the Ballon d’Or so far.
  • Lionel Messi tops the chart of most Ballon d’Or winners with seven by his name. He also won consecutively four years in a row from 2009 to 2012.
  • Apart from Messi, Michel Patini is the only and first player to win Ballon d’Or consecutively for three years (1983-1985).
  • Ronaldo Nazario holds the record for the youngest Ballon D’or winner. He won his first Ballon d’Or in 1997 when he was only 21 years old.
  • Karim Benzema, the winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or, is the oldest player to win the Ballon d’Or. He won at the age of 34. Lionel Messi also won a Ballon d’Or at 34. But it was his seventh Ballon d’Or.
  • Italy, France, and Germany tie in the top when it comes to most players to win the Ballon d’Or. All three countries have five different players to win the Ballon d’Or.
  • Franz Beckenbauer is the first defender to win a Ballon d’Or (1972 & 1976). The only other two defenders to win a Ballon d’Or are Matthias Sammer (1996) & Fabio Cannavaro (2006).
  • Lev Yashin is the only goalkeeper to ever win a Ballon d’Or. He achieved this feat in 1963.
  • When it comes to club football, Barcelona tops the chart with 13 Ballon d’Or, thanks to Lionel Messi. The other Spanish giant club Real Madrid has nine different players from their team to win the Ballon d’Or. Most for any club or national team.
  • Christiano Ronaldo holds the record for the highest point to win the Ballon d’Or in 2017. That year he earned 946 points.
  • Only two players won Ballon d’Or from 2008 to 2017. These ten years, no one else could win over Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo.

Brief History of Ballon d’Or

The French News Magazine decided to honor the best player of the year with the Ballon d’Or in 1956. Since then, the award has been given every year (except in 2020).

In the beginning, only the European players were nominated for the prize. But in 1995, it was declared that all the players of any origin who play in the European leagues are eligible for the trophy. Since then, 11 times non-European players have won the prize in the last 27 years.

In 2010, FIFA signed an agreement to merge the prize with FIFA Best Player of The Year. The new prize was named FIFA Ballon d’Or. However, in 2016, FIFA and Ballon D’or separated their paths, and the Ballon D’or returned to its original form.

The Ballon d’Or has always preferred attacking players rather than defenders or goalkeepers. From the winners’ list, it is obvious.

How Is The Winner Decided?

How Is The Winner Decided

How is a player selected to be the winner of the Ballon d’Or? Well, the short answer is the player who outperformed everyone else. But how do we make this decision? On what basis? Is it based on scoring goals? Though many think so, that is not the case.

The format of the Ballon d’Or winner has changed a few times. Here is the most recent format:

The highly respected Football publication France Football shortlists a bunch of players. Currently, they shortlist thirty footballers.

Next, 100 journalists from FIFA’s top 100 countries will vote for their top five players from the 30-man shortlist. The players are given points from each member’s list as below:

  • First: 6 Points
  • Second: 4 Points
  • Third: 3 Points
  • Fourth: 2 Points
  • Fifth: 1 Point

Whoever gets the most points is declared the winner. If two players have the same points, then the player who has been selected first for more times is declared the winner.

Journalists usually follow three main criteria while selecting the players. Individual and team performance in the given season, class, and career of the players.

Ballon d’Or Dream Teams

ballon d'or dream team 2020

On 14 December 2020, France Football published the Ballon d’Or Dream Team. A second and third team were also announced.

The First Team:

Lionel MessiArgentinaRight Winger
Ronaldo NazarioBrazilCenter Forward 
Cristiano RonaldoPortugalRight Winger 
PeléBrazilOffensive Midfielder 
Diego MaradonaArgentinaOffensive Midfielder 
Lothar MatthäusGermanyDefensive Midfielder 
XaviSpainDefensive Midfielder 
Paolo MaldiniItalyLeft Back
Franz BeckenbauerGermanyCenter Back
CafuBrazilRight Back
Lev YashinSoviet UnionGoalkeeper

The first team consisted of Pele, Maradona, and Xavi, who did not win the Ballon d’Or.

In 2016, on its 60th anniversary, a revised review of the prizes given prior to 1995 was published by France Football. In the new list, 12 Ballon d’Or was given to South American players. Which Pele won 7 Ballon d’Ors, and Maradona won 2.

Xavi, on the other hand, came third on three occasions in the Ballon d’Or list from 2009 to 2011.

The Second Team

Gianluigi BuffonItalyGoalkeeper
Carlos AlbertoBrazilRight Back
Franco BaresiItalyCenter Back
Roberto CarlosBrazilLeft Back
Andrea PirloItalyDefensive Midfielder
Frank RijkaardNetherlandsDefensive Midfielder
Alfredo Di StéfanoSpainOffensive Midfielder
Zinedine ZidaneFranceOffensive Midfielder
GarrinchaBrazilRight Winger
Johan CruyffNetherlandsCenter Forward
RonaldinhoBrazilLeft Winger

Great Players Who Did Not Win The Ballon d’Or

Only the great players can win a Ballon d’Or. However, not every great player has won the big prize. Here is a list of 15 great players who, despite having a successful career, never won the Ballon d’Or.

Xavi1x  World Cup 4x Champions League Winner  8x Spanish Champion  2x European Champion
Ferenc Puskas8x Top Goal Scorer 3x European Champion Clubs’ Cup Winner 5x Spanish Champion 1x Intercontinental Cup Winner 1x Olympic Medalist
Dennis Bergkamp8x Top Goal Scorer 3x European Champion Clubs’ Cup Winner 5x Spanish Champion 1x Intercontinental Cup Winner 1x Olympic Medalist
Andres Iniesta1x UEFA Best Player In Europe 1x Footballer of The Year 1x World Cup Winner 9x Spanish Champion 4x Champions League Winner
Bobby Moore1x World Cup Winner 1x English FA Cup Winner 1x English Super Cup winner
Kenny Dalglish2x Footballer of The Year 5x Top Goal Scorer 3x English Champion 2x UEFA Cup Winner 4x English Fa Cup Winner
Eric Cantona1x Player of The Year 5x English Champion 2x French Champion 2x English FA Cup Winner 6x English Super Cup Winner
Gianluigi Buffon1x Footballer of The Year 1x World Cup Winner 2x Tm-Player of The Season 10x Italian Champion 1x UEFA Cup Winner
Frank Rijkaard1x European Champion 1x Champions League Winner 2x European Champion Clubs’ Cup Winner 2x Italian Champion
Franco Baresi1x Top Goal Scorer 1x World Cup Winner 1x Champions League Winner 2x European Champion Clubs’ Cup Winner 6x Italian Champion
Oliver Kahn2x Footballer of The Year 1x Player of The Year 1x European Champion 1x Champions League Winner 8x German Champion
Jurgen Klinsmann2x Footballer of The Year 1x Top Goal Scorer 1x World Cup Winner 1x European Champion
Thierry Henry1x World Cup 2x Premier League Titles 2x La Liga Titles 1x Champions League 3x FA Cups
Raul Gonzalez6x La Liga Titles 3x Champions League Trophies


Winning the Ballon d’Or is certainly a great achievement for any player. It gives them the identity of the best of the bests. All Ballon d’Or winners are great as themselves. They are the GOATs of the sport.

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Al Amin Sagor is simply a movie freak who is passionate about writing entertainment content. He loves to watch web series, and movies and write on celebrity gossip or trendy movie news. He also covers media and entertainment news on various online platforms. He is one of the "Jewel" of The News Titan.


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