Ballon d’Or: Difference between revisions

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In 2020, the Group L’Équipe, to which ”France Football” belongs, decided that no award would be given for the year due to the [[Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on association football|COVID-19 pandemic]] cutting short the seasons of football clubs worldwide.<ref name=”Not2020″ /> The widespread public opinion is that the 2020 award should have been given to [[Robert Lewandowski]].<ref>{{cite web |url=https://talksport.com/football/992407/robert-lewandowski-ballon-dor-stats-goals-lionel-messi-cristiano-ronaldo/ |title=Robert Lewandowski was cruelly robbed of 2020 Ballon d’Or and striker’s 2021 stats are far better than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who praised him |website=[[Talksport]] |date=1 December 2021 |access-date=22 December 2022 |first=Connor |last=Andrews |archive-date=22 December 2022 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20221222161016/https://talksport.com/football/992407/robert-lewandowski-ballon-dor-stats-goals-lionel-messi-cristiano-ronaldo/ |url-status=live}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.marca.com/en/football/bundesliga/2021/12/01/61a7905822601d85058b45a5.html |title=Lewandowski could still receive 2020 Ballon d’Or: France Football should think about it |website=[[Marca (newspaper)|Marca]] |date=1 December 2021 |access-date=22 December 2022 |archive-date=22 December 2022 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20221222161015/https://www.marca.com/en/football/bundesliga/2021/12/01/61a7905822601d85058b45a5.html |url-status=live}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.espn.com/soccer/paris-saint-germain–frapsg/story/4534888/psgs-lionel-messi-robert-lewandowski-deserved-to-win-2020-ballon-dor-award |title=PSG’s Lionel Messi: Robert Lewandowski deserved to win 2020 Ballon d’Or award |website=[[ESPN]] |date=30 November 2021 |access-date=22 December 2022 |archive-date=22 December 2022 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20221222161018/https://www.espn.com/soccer/paris-saint-germain–frapsg/story/4534888/psgs-lionel-messi-robert-lewandowski-deserved-to-win-2020-ballon-dor-award |url-status=live}}</ref>

In 2020, the Group L’Équipe, to which ”France Football” belongs, decided that no award would be given for the year due to the [[Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on association football|COVID-19 pandemic]] cutting short the seasons of football clubs worldwide.<ref name=”Not2020″ /> The widespread public opinion is that the 2020 award should have been given to [[Robert Lewandowski]].<ref>{{cite web |url=https://talksport.com/football/992407/robert-lewandowski-ballon-dor-stats-goals-lionel-messi-cristiano-ronaldo/ |title=Robert Lewandowski was cruelly robbed of 2020 Ballon d’Or and striker’s 2021 stats are far better than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, who praised him |website=[[Talksport]] |date=1 December 2021 |access-date=22 December 2022 |first=Connor |last=Andrews |archive-date=22 December 2022 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20221222161016/https://talksport.com/football/992407/robert-lewandowski-ballon-dor-stats-goals-lionel-messi-cristiano-ronaldo/ |url-status=live}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.marca.com/en/football/bundesliga/2021/12/01/61a7905822601d85058b45a5.html |title=Lewandowski could still receive 2020 Ballon d’Or: France Football should think about it |website=[[Marca (newspaper)|Marca]] |date=1 December 2021 |access-date=22 December 2022 |archive-date=22 December 2022 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20221222161015/https://www.marca.com/en/football/bundesliga/2021/12/01/61a7905822601d85058b45a5.html |url-status=live}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=https://www.espn.com/soccer/paris-saint-germain–frapsg/story/4534888/psgs-lionel-messi-robert-lewandowski-deserved-to-win-2020-ballon-dor-award |title=PSG’s Lionel Messi: Robert Lewandowski deserved to win 2020 Ballon d’Or award |website=[[ESPN]] |date=30 November 2021 |access-date=22 December 2022 |archive-date=22 December 2022 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20221222161018/https://www.espn.com/soccer/paris-saint-germain–frapsg/story/4534888/psgs-lionel-messi-robert-lewandowski-deserved-to-win-2020-ballon-dor-award |url-status=live}}</ref>

The award shows a bias in favour of attacking players, which has increased in recent years, especially after 2007.<ref name=”:0″ /> Over time, the award has gone to a more exclusive set of leagues and clubs.<ref name=”:0″ /> Prior to 1995, 10 leagues supplied Ballon d’Or winners, whereas only England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States have supplied winners since 1995.<ref name=”:0″ /> Spain’s [[La Liga]] has the most Ballon d’Or winners.<ref name=”:0″ /> Barcelona and Real Madrid have supplied the most Ballon d’Or winners since 1995.<ref name=”:0″ />

The award shows a bias in favour of attacking players, which has increased in recent years, especially after 2007.<ref name=”:0″ /> Over time, the award has gone to a more exclusive set of leagues and clubs.<ref name=”:0″ /> Prior to 1995, ten leagues supplied Ballon d’Or winners, whereas only England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States have supplied winners since 1995.<ref name=”:0″ /> Spain’s [[La Liga]] has the most Ballon d’Or winners.<ref name=”:0″ /> Barcelona and Real Madrid have supplied the most Ballon d’Or winners since 1995.<ref name=”:0″ />

In [[2022 Ballon d’Or|2022]], ”France Football” modified the rules for the Ballon d’Or. They changed the timing so that awards were given not for achievements during a calendar year, but for a football season.<ref name=”lequipe.fr” /> It was also decided that only those countries in the top 100 of the [[FIFA Men’s World Ranking|FIFA World Ranking]] would be allowed to vote. The plebiscite had previously been open to all countries since 2007. This brought the Ballon d’Or into line with the [[UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award]] which was slightly less dominated by exclusive leagues and, in particular, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the 2010s.<ref name=”lequipe.fr” />

In [[2022 Ballon d’Or|2022]], ”France Football” modified the rules for the Ballon d’Or. They changed the timing so that awards were given not for achievements during a calendar year, but for a football season.<ref name=”lequipe.fr” /> It was also decided that only those countries in the top 100 of the [[FIFA Men’s World Ranking|FIFA World Ranking]] would be allowed to vote. The plebiscite had previously been open to all countries since 2007. This brought the Ballon d’Or into line with the [[UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award]] which was slightly less dominated by exclusive leagues and, in particular, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the 2010s.<ref name=”lequipe.fr” />

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=== Men’s Club of the Year ===

=== Men’s Club of the Year ===

”France Football” first gave out the ”’Men’s Club of the Year”’ award in 2021, with the inaugural winner being [[Chelsea F.C.|Chelsea]].<ref>{{Cite web |title=Chelsea sacré club de l’année |url=https://www.lequipe.fr/France-Football/Actualites/Chelsea-sacre-club-de-l-annee/1302152 |access-date=25 May 2023 |website=[[L’Équipe]] |language=fr |archive-date=16 December 2021 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20211216085731/https://www.lequipe.fr/France-Football/Actualites/Chelsea-sacre-club-de-l-annee/1302152 |url-status=live}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web |date=17 October 2022 |title=Ballon d’Or 2022: Benzema wins, awards, winners and latest updates from the ceremony |url=https://en.as.com/soccer/ballon-dor-2022-live-online-today-awards-nominees-winners-and-latest-updates-from-the-ceremony-n/ |access-date=25 May 2023 |website=[[Diario AS]] |archive-date=22 May 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20230522065135/https://en.as.com/soccer/ballon-dor-2022-live-online-today-awards-nominees-winners-and-latest-updates-from-the-ceremony-n/ |url-status=live}}</ref> [[Manchester City F.C.|Manchester City]] won back-to-back in 2022<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://www.topendsports.com/sport/soccer/awards/club-of-the-year.htm |title=Club of the Year Winner’s List |access-date=30 October 2023 |website=Topend Sports |archive-date=30 October 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20231030211743/https://www.topendsports.com/sport/soccer/awards/club-of-the-year.htm |url-status=live}}</ref> and 2023.<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://dailysports.net/news/manchester-city-has-emerged-as-the-premier-football-club-of-the-year/ |title=Manchester City has emerged as the premier football club of the year |date=30 October 2023 |access-date=30 October 2023 |website=DailySPORTS |last=Perez |first=Steven |archive-date=30 October 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20231030211744/https://dailysports.net/news/manchester-city-has-emerged-as-the-premier-football-club-of-the-year/ |url-status=live}}</ref>

”France Football” first gave out the ”’Men’s Club of the Year”’ award in 2021, with the inaugural winner being [[Chelsea F.C.|Chelsea]].<ref>{{Cite web |title=Chelsea sacré club de l’année |trans-title=Chelsea crowned club of the year |url=https://www.lequipe.fr/France-Football/Actualites/Chelsea-sacre-club-de-l-annee/1302152 |access-date=25 May 2023 |website=[[L’Équipe]] |language=fr |archive-date=16 December 2021 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20211216085731/https://www.lequipe.fr/France-Football/Actualites/Chelsea-sacre-club-de-l-annee/1302152 |url-status=live}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web |date=17 October 2022 |title=Ballon d’Or 2022: Benzema wins, awards, winners and latest updates from the ceremony |url=https://en.as.com/soccer/ballon-dor-2022-live-online-today-awards-nominees-winners-and-latest-updates-from-the-ceremony-n/ |access-date=25 May 2023 |website=[[Diario AS]] |archive-date=22 May 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20230522065135/https://en.as.com/soccer/ballon-dor-2022-live-online-today-awards-nominees-winners-and-latest-updates-from-the-ceremony-n/ |url-status=live}}</ref> [[Manchester City F.C.|Manchester City]] won back-to-back in 2022<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://www.topendsports.com/sport/soccer/awards/club-of-the-year.htm |title=Club of the Year Winner’s List |access-date=30 October 2023 |website=Topend Sports |archive-date=30 October 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20231030211743/https://www.topendsports.com/sport/soccer/awards/club-of-the-year.htm |url-status=live}}</ref> and 2023.<ref>{{Cite web |url=https://dailysports.net/news/manchester-city-has-emerged-as-the-premier-football-club-of-the-year/ |title=Manchester City has emerged as the premier football club of the year |date=30 October 2023 |access-date=30 October 2023 |website=DailySPORTS |last=Perez |first=Steven |archive-date=30 October 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20231030211744/https://dailysports.net/news/manchester-city-has-emerged-as-the-premier-football-club-of-the-year/ |url-status=live}}</ref>

=== Women’s Club of the Year ===

=== Women’s Club of the Year ===

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=== Sócrates Award ===

=== Sócrates Award ===

In [[2022 Ballon d’Or|2022]] ”France Football” gave out the first edition of the ”’Sócrates Award”’ to [[Sadio Mané]] for his humanitarian efforts in [[Senegal]].<ref>{{Cite web |title=Mane wins Socrates Award 2022 |url=https://www.besoccer.com/new/mane-wins-socrates-award-2022-1193396 |access-date=25 May 2023 |website=www.besoccer.com |archive-date=25 May 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20230525102437/https://www.besoccer.com/new/mane-wins-socrates-award-2022-1193396 |url-status=live}}</ref> In [[2023 Ballon d’Or|2023]], the winner was [[Vinícius Júnior|Vinícius Jr.]], for his humanitarian work in Brazil.<ref>{{Cite web |date=30 October 2023 |title=Bellingham wins Kopa Trophy and Vini Jr. scoops Socrates Award {{!}} Real Madrid CF |url=https://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2023/10/30/bellingham-wins-kopa-trophy-and-vini-jr-scoops-socrates-award |access-date=31 October 2023 |publisher=[[Real Madrid CF]] |archive-date=31 October 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20231031061205/https://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2023/10/30/bellingham-wins-kopa-trophy-and-vini-jr-scoops-socrates-award |url-status=live }}</ref> The award was named after late Brazilian footballer [[Sócrates]].

In [[2022 Ballon d’Or|2022]] ”France Football” gave out the first edition of the ”’Sócrates Award”’ to [[Sadio Mané]] for his humanitarian efforts in [[Senegal]].<ref>{{Cite web |title=Mane wins Socrates Award 2022 |url=https://www.besoccer.com/new/mane-wins-socrates-award-2022-1193396 |access-date=25 May 2023 |website=www.besoccer.com |archive-date=25 May 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20230525102437/https://www.besoccer.com/new/mane-wins-socrates-award-2022-1193396 |url-status=live}}</ref> In [[2023 Ballon d’Or|2023]], the winner was [[Vinícius Júnior|Vinícius Jr.]], for his humanitarian work in Brazil.<ref>{{Cite web |date=30 October 2023 |title=Bellingham wins Kopa Trophy and Vini Jr. scoops Socrates Award |url=https://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2023/10/30/bellingham-wins-kopa-trophy-and-vini-jr-scoops-socrates-award |access-date=31 October 2023 |publisher=[[Real Madrid CF]] |archive-date=31 October 2023 |archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20231031061205/https://www.realmadrid.com/en/news/2023/10/30/bellingham-wins-kopa-trophy-and-vini-jr-scoops-socrates-award |url-status=live }}</ref> The award was named after late Brazilian footballer [[Sócrates]].

=== Football Player of the Century ===

=== Football Player of the Century ===

Annual association football award

Award
The Ballon d’Or (French pronunciation: [balɔ̃ dɔʁ] ⓘ; lit. ’Golden Ball’) is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football since 1956 to honour the player deemed to have performed the best over the previous season.
Conceived by sports writers Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferran, the Ballon d’Or award was based exclusively on voting by football journalists, from 1956 to 2006.[2] Originally, it was awarded only to players from Europe and was widely known as the European Footballer of the Year award. In 1995, the Ballon d’Or was expanded to include all players of any origin that have been active at European clubs.[3][4] The award became a global prize in 2007 with all professional footballers from around the world being eligible;[5] additionally, coaches and captains of national teams were also given the right to vote.[2]
Between 2010 and 2015, in an agreement with FIFA, the award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year, and was known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or. That partnership ended in 2016, and the award reverted to the Ballon d’Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award, The Best FIFA Men’s Player. The recipients of the joint FIFA Ballon d’Or are considered as winners by both award organizations.[2][6][7] In 2022, France Football modified the rules for the Ballon d’Or. The timing was changed so that awards were given not for achievements during a calendar year, but for a football season, and it was also determined that only countries from the top 100 of the FIFA Men’s World Ranking would be allowed to vote.[8] UEFA is set to co-organize the awards gala—with France Football retaining the voting system and the Ballon d’Or name—starting from the upcoming 2024 edition.
Lionel Messi won the award a record eight times, and he is also the current holder of the Ballon d’Or, having won its most recent edition in 2023. Cristiano Ronaldo has won it five times and amassed a record eighteen nominations in his career.[1] Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten each won the award three times, while Franz Beckenbauer, Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Kevin Keegan and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have each won it twice.[9]

History
The Ballon d’Or has historically been regarded as football’s most prestigious and valuable individual award.[9][10][11] Nevertheless, critics have occasionally described the award as a “popularity contest”, criticizing its voting process, its bias in favour of attacking players, and for the idea of systematically singling out an individual in a team sport.[note 1][2]
Stanley Matthews of England was the inaugural winner of the Ballon d’Or.[9][18] Prior to 2007, the award was generally known as the continental European Footballer of the Year award in English language and much international media. Even after 2007, it was usually identified with and referred to by that name because of its origin as a European award, until it was merged with FIFA’s World Player award cementing its new worldwide claim.[19][20][21][22] Liberia’s George Weah, the only African recipient, became the first non-European to win the award in 1995, the year that rules of eligibility were changed.[4][23] Ronaldo of Brazil became the first South American winner two years later.[4]
Lionel Messi has won the award a record eight times, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo with five.[1][11] Messi is the only player in history to win the award with three different teams and also the only one to win it while playing outside Europe.[24] He is also the player with the most podiums, finishing in the top-three a record fourteen times.[11] Three players have won the award three times each: Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.[1][9] With seven awards each, Dutch, German, Portuguese and French players have won the second most Ballons d’Or, underneath Argentina in first with eight.[23] Players from Germany (1972, 1981) and the Netherlands (1988) occupied the top-three spots in a single year (a feat achieved only three times in history). German (1972) and Italian (1988–1990) clubs achieved the same feat, including two individual years dominated by AC Milan players (1988, 1989), a unique record until Spanish clubs experienced an unforeseen dominance (2009–2012, 2015, 2016) and Barcelona (2010) became the second club to occupy the top-three. Two Spanish clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid, also lead the ranking for producing the most winners, with twelve wins each.[25]
Between 2010 and 2015 inclusive, the award was merged with a similar one, the FIFA World Player of the Year award, to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or, which was awarded to the world’s best male player before FIFA and France Football decided not to continue the merging agreement.[26] After 2011, UEFA created the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award to maintain the tradition of the original Ballon d’Or of specifically honouring a football player from Europe.[27]
In 2020, the Group L’Équipe, to which France Football belongs, decided that no award would be given for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic cutting short the seasons of football clubs worldwide.[28] The widespread public opinion is that the 2020 award should have been given to Robert Lewandowski.[29][30][31]
The award shows a bias in favour of attacking players, which has increased in recent years, especially after 2007.[2] Over time, the award has gone to a more exclusive set of leagues and clubs.[2] Prior to 1995, ten leagues supplied Ballon d’Or winners, whereas only England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States have supplied winners since 1995.[2] Spain’s La Liga has the most Ballon d’Or winners.[2] Barcelona and Real Madrid have supplied the most Ballon d’Or winners since 1995.[2]
In 2022, France Football modified the rules for the Ballon d’Or. They changed the timing so that awards were given not for achievements during a calendar year, but for a football season.[8] It was also decided that only those countries in the top 100 of the FIFA World Ranking would be allowed to vote. The plebiscite had previously been open to all countries since 2007. This brought the Ballon d’Or into line with the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award which was slightly less dominated by exclusive leagues and, in particular, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the 2010s.[8]
Beginning in 2024, UEFA is set to co-organize the Ballon d’Or with France Football, with the magazine retaining the voting system and the Ballon d’Or name and UEFA organizing the awards gala.[32]

Winners
Lionel Messi has won the most Ballons d’Or in history, with eight wins in three different decades. He is also the record holder for most consecutive wins, with four between 2009 and 2012.
Note: Until 2021, the Ballon d’Or was awarded based on player performance during the calendar year. Since 2022, jurors have been instructed to take into account the previous season.[33]

Cristiano Ronaldo has been nominated for the Ballon d’Or a record eighteen times, and is a five-time winner.
George Weah was the first non-European and first African national team player to win the award.
Lev Yashin is the only goalkeeper to win the award.
Franz Beckenbauer is the only defender to win the award twice.

Wins by player
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi won 10 consecutive Ballon d’Or trophies between them from 2008 to 2017.
Michel Platini won the award three years running (1983–1985).
Ronaldo Nazário is the youngest player to win the Ballon d’Or.

Wins by country
Three Ukrainian players have won the Ballon d’Or: Andriy Shevchenko, Oleg Blokhin, and Igor Belanov.
Marco van Basten (left) and Ruud Gullit, teammates for AC Milan and the Netherlands, won in consecutive years from 1987 to 1989.

Wins by club

Additional awards
Ballon d’Or Dream Team

An all-time all-star team named Ballon d’Or Dream Team was published in December 2020 by France Football, honouring football’s greatest players of all time.[37][38] A second and a third team were also published.[39]

Super Ballon d’Or

An honorary award, under the name Super Ballon d’Or, was awarded to Alfredo Di Stéfano in 1989, who was voted the best multiple-time Ballon d’Or winner ahead of Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini.[40]
In addition Diego Maradona received an honorary Ballon d’Or in 1995 for his services to football dubbed the Golden Ballon d’Or.[41][42] Pelé also received a similar award in January 2014 dubbed the FIFA Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur.[43]

Kopa Trophy

Since 2018 France Football has given out the Kopa Trophy to the best U21 player in the world. The award is named after 1958 Ballon d’Or winner Raymond Kopa.[44]

Yashin Trophy

First awarded in 2019, the Yashin Trophy is presented to the best goalkeeper of the year. The award was named after Soviet goalkeeper and 1963 Ballon d’Or winner Lev Yashin.[45]

Gerd Müller Trophy

In 2021 France Football awarded Robert Lewandowski with a Striker of the Year award for scoring the most goals the previous season. Following Gerd Müller’s death in 2021, the award was renamed for the 2022 edition to the Gerd Müller Trophy.[46][47]

Men’s Club of the Year
France Football first gave out the Men’s Club of the Year award in 2021, with the inaugural winner being Chelsea.[48][49] Manchester City won back-to-back in 2022[50] and 2023.[51]

Women’s Club of the Year
France Football first gave out the Women’s Club of the Year award in 2023, with the inaugural winner being FC Barcelona Femení.[52]

Men’s Coach of the Year
France Football will give out the Men’s Coach of the Year award starting in 2024.[32]

Women’s Coach of the Year
France Football will give out the Women’s Coach of the Year award starting in 2024.[32]

Sócrates Award
In 2022 France Football gave out the first edition of the Sócrates Award to Sadio Mané for his humanitarian efforts in Senegal.[53] In 2023, the winner was Vinícius Jr., for his humanitarian work in Brazil.[54] The award was named after late Brazilian footballer Sócrates.

A decade later, France Football voted Pelé as the Football Player of the Century after consulting their former Ballon d’Or recipients. Among the 34 previous winners, 30 cast their votes, while Stanley Matthews, Omar Sívori and George Best refused to vote, and Lev Yashin had died. Each voter was allotted five votes worth up to five points; however, Di Stéfano only chose a first place, Platini a first and second place, and George Weah two players for fifth place. Pelé was named the greatest by 17 voters, receiving almost double the number of points earned by the runner-up, Diego Maradona.[55][56]

Le nouveau palmarès
To coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Ballon d’Or in 2016, France Football published a reevaluation of the awards presented before 1995, when only European players were eligible to win the award. 12 out of the 39 Ballons d’Or presented during this time period would have been awarded to South American players; in addition to Pelé and Diego Maradona, Garrincha, Mario Kempes, and Romário were retrospectively recognized as worthy winners. The original recipients, however, remain unchanged.[57]

Other all-star teams
In 1978, France Football published an article about that year’s South American Footballer of the Year award in which they hypothesized a match between a South American All-Star Team and a European All-Star team, featuring the players who had performed the best in the award rankings.[58]

An article from 1994 published by El País reports a “Golden Team” having been chosen at the 1994 Ballon d’Or gala.[59]

See also

Notes

^ Criticizing its voting process, citations:[12][13][14][15][16][17]

^ Kopa was signed by Real Madrid from Reims midway through 1956.

^ Born in Argentina, Di Stéfano acquired Spanish citizenship in 1956 and went on to play for the Spain national team.

^ Kopa was signed by Reims from Real Madrid midway through 1959.

^ Born in Argentina, Sívori acquired Italian citizenship in 1961 and went on to play for the Italy national team.

^ Luis Suárez was signed by Inter Milan from Barcelona midway through 1961.

^ Cruyff was signed by Barcelona from Ajax midway through 1973.

^ Keegan was signed by Hamburger SV from Liverpool midway through 1977.

^ Krankl was signed by Barcelona from Rapid Wien midway through 1978.

^ Schuster was signed by Barcelona from 1. FC Köln midway through 1980.

^ Boniek was signed by Juventus from Widzew Łódź midway through 1982.

^ Simonsen was signed by Vejle from Charlton Athletic midway through 1983.

^ Elkjær was signed by Hellas Verona from Lokeren midway through 1984.

^ Lineker was signed by Barcelona from Everton midway through 1986.

^ Gullit was signed by Milan from PSV Eindhoven midway through 1987.

^ Futre was signed by Atlético Madrid from Porto midway through 1987.

^ Rijkaard was signed by Milan from Zaragoza midway through 1988.

^ Bergkamp was signed by Inter Milan from Ajax midway through 1993.

^ Weah was signed by Milan from Paris Saint-Germain midway through 1995.

^ Klinsmann was signed by Bayern Munich from Tottenham Hotspur midway through 1995.

^ Ronaldo was signed by Barcelona from PSV Eindhoven midway through 1996.

^ Shearer was signed by Newcastle United from Blackburn Rovers midway through 1996.

^ Ronaldo was signed by Inter Milan from Barcelona midway through 1997.

^ Shevchenko was signed by Milan from Dynamo Kyiv midway through 1999.

^ Figo was signed by Real Madrid from Barcelona midway through 2000.

^ Ronaldo was signed by Real Madrid from Inter Milan midway through 2002.

^ Deco was signed by Barcelona from Porto midway through 2004.

^ Cannavaro was signed by Real Madrid from Juventus midway through 2006.

^ Cristiano Ronaldo was signed by Real Madrid from Manchester United midway through 2009.

^ Neymar was signed by Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona midway through 2017.

^ Cristiano Ronaldo was signed by Juventus from Real Madrid midway through 2018.

^ Messi was signed by Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona midway through 2021.

^ Mané was signed by Bayern Munich from Liverpool midway through 2022.

^ Messi was signed by Inter Miami from Paris Saint-Germain midway through 2023.

^ Messi won four FIFA Ballons d’Or (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015) and twice finished in second place (2013, 2014).[35]

^ Cristiano Ronaldo won two FIFA Ballons d’Or (2013, 2014) and finished in second place three times (2011, 2012, 2015).[35]

References

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