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  • Writer's pictureLara Clarke

The Ballon d'Or

Updated: May 18, 2023


The Ballon d’Or is widely regarded football’s most prestigious award. First established and created by France Football in 1956. The annual football award has been presented by French news magazine ‘France Football’ since 1956.

France Football is a French weekly magazine containing football news from all over the world. Considered to be one of the most reputable sports publication in Europe. The magazine was first published in 1946 with its headquarters in Paris. For more than six decades it has presented the Ballon d’Or award to the best football player of the year. The award is given for ‘Best performing player of the season’

The current holder of the Ballon d’Or (2022) is Karim Benzema. Karim Mostafa Benzema is a French professional footballer who plays as striker for and captains the mighty La Liga club – Real Madrid. Benzema is regarded as one of the best strikers of all time! Stanley Matthews of England was the inaugural winner of the coveted award. Sir Stanley Matthews, CBE was an English footballer who played as an outside right and often regarded as one of the greatest players of the British game. His nicknames, at the peak of his powers, were 'The wizard of the Dribble’ and ‘The Magician’. Nine players have won the FIFA World Cup, The European Cup/UEFA Champions League and the Ballon d’Or during their careers; Bobby Charlton Franz Beckenbauer Gerd Muller Paolo Rossi Zinedine Zidane Rivaldo Ronaldhino Kaka Lionel Messi Fact: Franz Beckenbauer is the only defender to win the award 2 times! The most successful players to win the Ballon d’Or winning the award multiple times are; Messi x 7 times! Christiano Ronaldo x 5 times Johan Cruyff x 3 times Michael Platini x 3 times Marco van Basten x 3 times Fact: Only two players have won the award three consecutive times in a row – Michael Platini 1983, 1984 and 1985 and Lionel Messi 2009, 2010, 2011 and went on to win it a fourth consecutive time in 2012. Messi then went on the win it a record total of 7 times 2015, 2019 2021. The list of British footballers who have won the award over the years; Stanley Matthews (ENG) 1956 Denis Law (SCOT) 1964 Bobby Charlton (ENG) 1966 George Best (ENG) 1968 Kevin Keegan (ENG) 1978 and 1979 Michael Owen (ENG) 2001 Who will be on the 2023 Ballon d’Or finalists shortlist for the 2022/2023 season, and can you predict the winner? The next Ballon d’Or Awards will take place in August 2023…

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