Since 1956, the French news magazine France Football has given out an annual football award. The award was temporarily merged with the FIFA World Player of the Year (founded in 1991) and known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or between 2010 and 2015, thanks to an agreement with FIFA.
After the relationship ended in 2016, the prize was renamed the Ballon d'Or, and FIFA established its own yearly award, The Best FIFA Men's Player. Both award organizations consider the winners of the joint FIFA Ballon d'Or to be winners.
From 1956 through 2006, the Ballon d'Or award, created by sportswriter Gabriel Hanot, honors the male player deemed to have played the best over the preceding year, based on voting by football journalists.
Coaches and captains of national teams were given the right to vote after 2007. It was originally called the European Footballer of the Year award since it was only given to European players. The Ballon d'Or was expanded in 1995 to include any player from any country who had played for European clubs.
In 2007, the award became a global honor, and all professional players from all around the world were eligible.
Lionel Messi was the most recent winner in 2021. Messi has the record for most Ballon d'Or wins with seven, while Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record with five.
2021 - Lionel Messi - Argentina Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
2020 - not awarded
2019 - Lionel Messi - Argentina - Barcelona
2018 - Luka Modric - Croatia - Real Madrid
2017 - Christiano Ronaldo - Portugal - Real Madrid
2016 - Christiano Ronaldo - Portugal - Real Madrid
2015 - Lionel Messi - Argentina - Barcelona
2014 - Christiano Ronaldo - Portugal - Real Madrid
2013 - Christiano Ronaldo - Portugal - Real Madrid
2012 - Lionel Messi - Argentina - Barcelona
2011 Lionel Messi - Argentina - Barcelona
2010 - Lionel Messi - Argentina - Barcelona
2009 - Lionel Messi - Argentina - Barcelona
2008 - Christiano Ronaldo - Portugal - Manchester United
2007 - Kaká - Brazil - Milan
2006 - Fabio Cannavaro - Italy - Real Madrid
2005 - Ronaldinho - Brazil - Barcelona
2004 - Andriy Shevchenko - Ukrain - Milan
2003 - Pavel Nedvěd - Czech Republic - Juventus
2002- Ronaldo - Brazil - Real Madrid
2001 - Michael Owen - England - Liverpool
2000 - Luís Figo - Portugal - Real Madrid
1999 - Rivaldo - Brazil - Barcelona
1998 - Zinedine Zidane - France - Juventus
1997 - Ronaldo - Brazil - Internazionale
1996 - Matthias Sammer - Germany - Borussia Dortmund
1995 - George Weah - Liberia - Milan
1994 - Hristo Stoichkov - Bulgaria - Barcelona
1993 - Roberto Baggio - Italy - Juventus
1992 - Marco Van Basten - Netherlands - Milan
1991 - Jean-Pierre Papin - France - Marseille
1990 - Lothar Matthäus - Germany - Internazionale
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