Arguably the most glamorous night in the world of football, studded with the blinding lights of the global media, the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony for 2023 took place on Monday, October 30. Amidst all the hullabaloo regarding Lionel Messi’s record-extending eighth win, we take a moment to look at the list of all the winners of the Ballon d’Or. But before that, let’s take a quick refresher course on the history of the award.
Presented by French news magazine France Football, the Ballon d’Or is an annual award that has been given to individual footballers since 1956. Between 2010 and 2015, the award was known as the FIFA Ballon d’Or because of a partnership between the apex global governing body of the sport and France Football. The Ballon d’Or was conceived by French sports journalists Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferran, and initially, the winners were chosen based on their performances in the previous calendar year through voting by journalists. Since 2007, however, coaches and captains of national teams have also been included in the voting body.
While the award was earlier limited to European footballers, starting in 2007, players from all over the globe (as long as they play for European clubs) were included in the running. In 2022, France Football also changed the time period for which the players were awarded the honour. Instead of considering the calendar year, they now take into account a player’s performance during the football season (typically from August of one year to May of the following year).
Now that we are all up to date on its history, let’s take a look at everything else we know about the Ballon d’Or award, including the venue for the 2023 ceremony, the player who has won it the most times and a list of all the winners by year.
All you need to know about the Ballon d’Or award ceremony
Where did the Ballon d’Or 2023 award ceremony take place?
The Ballon d’Or 2023 award ceremony was held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France on Monday, October 30. Former Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba hosted the ceremony.
Who has won the Ballon d’Or award the most times?
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While England’s Stanley Matthews won the inaugural Ballon d’Or award in 1956, Argentine legend Lionel Messi has the most trophies to his name (he has been the winner of the award on eight occasions). Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo ranks second on the list with five Ballon d’Or titles. Brazilian legend Ronaldo remains the youngest Ballon d’Or winner to date, winning the trophy at the age of 21 years and 92 days in 1997.
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Looking at the list of all the previous Ballon d’Or winners
For winning the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, the Ballon d’Or 2023 was awarded to Lionel Messi. The Argentine footballer has now extended his lead to eight Ballon d’Or awards. Here is a list of all the players who have won the coveted title in the past, and the clubs they were representing when the honour was bestowed upon them.
1956: Stanley Matthews for Blackpool F.C.
1957: Alfredo Di Stefano for Real Madrid
1958: Raymond Kopa for Real Madrid
1959: Alfredo Di Stefano for Real Madrid
1960: Luis Suarez for F.C. Barcelona
1961: Omar Sivori for Juventus
1962: Josef Masopust for Dukla Prague
1963: Lev Yashin for Dynamo Moscow
1964: Denis Law for Manchester United
1965: Eusebio for S.L. Benfica
1966: Bobby Charlton for Manchester United
1967: Florian Albert for Ferencvarosi T.C.
1968: George Best for Manchester United
1969: Gianni Rivera for AC Milan
1970: Gerd Muller for F.C. Bayern Munich
1971: Johan Cruyff for AFC Ajax
1972: Franz Beckenbauer for F.C. Bayern Munich
1973: Johan Cruyff for F.C. Barcelona
1974: Johan Cruyff for F.C. Barcelona
1975: Oleg Blokhin for Dynamo Kyiv
1976: Franz Beckenbauer for F.C. Bayern Munich
1977: Allan Simonsen for Borussia Monchengladbach
1978: Kevin Keegan for Hamburger SV
1979: Kevin Keegan for Hamburger SV
1980: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for F.C. Bayern Munich
1981: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for F.C. Bayern Munich
1982: Paolo Rossi for Juventus
1983: Michel Platini for Juventus
1984: Michel Platini for Juventus
1985: Michel Platini for Juventus
1986: Igor Belanov for Dynamo Kyiv
1987: Ruud Gullit for AC Milan
1988: Marco van Basten for AC Milan
1989: Marco van Basten for AC Milan
1990: Lothar Matthaus for Inter Milan
1991: Jean-Pierre Papin for Olympique de Marseille
1992: Marco van Basten for AC Milan
1993: Roberto Baggio for Juventus
1994: Hristo Stoichkov for F.C. Barcelona
1995: George Weah for AC Milan
1996: Matthias Sammer for Borussia Dortmund
1997: Ronaldo for Inter Milan
1998: Zinedine Zidane for Juventus
1999: Rivaldo for F.C. Barcelona
2000: Luis Figo for Real Madrid
2001: Michael Owen for Liverpool F.C.
2002: Ronaldo for Real Madrid
2003: Pavel Nedved for Juventus
2004: Andriy Shevchenko for AC Milan
2005: Ronaldinho for F.C Barcelona
2006: Fabio Cannavaro for Real Madrid
2007: Kaka for AC Milan
2008: Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United
2009: Lionel Messi for F.C. Barcelona
2010: Lionel Messi for F.C. Barcelona
2011: Lionel Messi for F.C. Barcelona
2012: Lionel Messi for F.C. Barcelona
2013: Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid
2014: Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid
2015: Lionel Messi for F.C. Barcelona
2016: Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid
2017: Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid
2018: Luka Modric for Real Madrid
2019: Lionel Messi for F.C. Barcelona
2021: Lionel Messi for Paris Saint-Germain
2022: Karim Benzema for Real Madrid
2023: Lionel Messi for Inter Miami F.C.
It is important to note that the Ballon d’Or award ceremony was not held in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where to livestream the Ballon d’Or 2023 award ceremony?
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Football fans around the world could live stream the Ballon d’Or 2023 award ceremony for free on the official YouTube channel of L’Equipe.
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(Main and Featured Images Credits: Courtesy Instagram/@Ballon d’Or)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Who has won the highest number of Ballon d’Or awards?
To date, Lionel Messi has won the most Ballon d’Or awards with eight wins.
– Who is the youngest Ballon d’Or winner?
Brazilian legend Ronaldo remains the youngest Ballon d’Or winner to date, winning the trophy at the age of 21 years and 92 days in 1997.
– Who were the nominees for Ballon d’Or 2023?
Among the nominees for Ballon d’Or 2023 were several big names such as Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Mohamed Salah, Kevin De Bruyne, Emiliano Martinez, Robert Lewandowski and Harry Kane.