The most prestigious award in the men’s category of football is none other than the Ballon d’Or award presented to the best player of the past year/season. The award is hosted by the French sports magazine France Football every year.
The Ballon d’Or has seen many great players down history lane. The rankings for the award are sorted on the basis of points obtained by the player for their performances and the player with the most points is handed out the award.
Let us take a look at some of the greatest players and rank the Top 10 players with the most Ballon d’Or wins in Football history.
10. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Bayern Munich’s star forward, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was one of the best forward players of the 70s and 80s. He played for the Italian club Inter Milan as well during his senior career.
However, his prime was with Bayern Munich where he performed exceptionally for two seasons back to back and was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 1980 and 1981.
9. Kevin Keegan
The only English player on the list, Kevin Keegan was one of the most prolific forward players of the 1970s. He played for all the top-flight clubs on English soil but is best remembered for his time with Liverpool and a German club Hamburger SV.
He had a good run with Liverpool but wasn’t able to get his hands on the award. But with Hamburger, Kevin was able to do so twice in a row in 1978 and 1979.
8. Alfredo Di Stefano
One of the greatest players of all time, Alfredo Di Stefano was an amazing striker with great goal-scoring abilities. He was one of the most important players in the Real Madrid squad and won two Ballon d’Ors while in the club in the years 1957 and 1959.
7. Ronaldo Nazario
Brazil’s Ronaldo Nazario makes it to the 7th position on our list with 2 Ballon d’Ors shining on his shelf. While his transfer to Inter from Barca, he won the first Ballon d’Or in 1997. Again after his move to Real Madrid from Inter, he won his second Ballon d’Or award in 2002.
6. Franz Beckenbauer
Entitled “The Emperor” on the field, Franz Beckenbauer was one of the best defenders of his generation. He played the majority of his senior career playing for Bayern Munich and won two Ballon d’Or awards in 1972 and 1976 also placing second on two other lists of the award.
5. Marco Van Basten
One of the greatest Dutch football players of all time, Marco Van Basten was AC Milan’s ace striker. While spending his 8 years with the club, Marco won three Ballon d’Or in the year 1988, 1989, and 1992.
4. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff was yet another great Dutch player who played the greater portion of his senior career with Ajax and Barcelona. While his time with these two clubs, Johan reached his prime and won three Ballon d’Or awards in 1971, 1973, and 1974. He also placed third in the 1975 version of the award.
3. Michel Platini
Representing France, Michel Platini has three Ballon d’Or awards in his name while his stay with the Italian club Juventus. He won the award thrice in a row in 1983, 1984, and 1985. He also finished third on the list on 2 other occasions.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
One of the greatest of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo stands in second place on this list with his 5 shining gold Ballon d’Or awards. Apart from the five Ballon d’Or awards, Cristiano has also finished 2nd for the award in 6 different seasons and also made it to the third position in 2019.
1. Lionel Messi
When we talk about the best player, we are to be reminded of this Argentine player without fail. Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or award a record number of 7 times and placed second on 5 more lists. He also found himself in third place in 2007.