Which players have won the most Ballons d’Or?

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After a year of shutdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Ballon d’Or gala returns on Monday, November 29, as the prestigious magazine France Football rewards exceptional performers of men’s and women’s football in 2021.

First Ballons d’Or since 2019 awarded at a ceremony in Paris

During the ceremony to be held at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, four prizes will be awarded, headlining the Men’s Ballon d’Or and Women’s Ballon d’Or. The Yashin Trophy and the Kopa Trophy, awarded to the best male goalkeeper and the Under-21 player respectively, will also be awarded.

Superstar of Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina Lionel Messi and Polish Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski appear to be the favorites for the Men’s Ballon d’Or, while Barcelona and Spain Alexia Putellas is the overwhelming favorite for the women’s award.

See also:

  • The complete review of the Ballon d’Or favorites

Messi wants to add Ballon d’Or record

While Lewandowski is yet to win the award – but surely would have claimed the trophy had it not been canceled in 2020 – Messi aims for record-breaking seventh Ballon d’Or. The 34-year-old, who left Barcelona for PSG this summer, was the recipient of the most recent Men’s Ballon d’Or in 2019, having also won the accolade in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

The next most frequent winner of the Men’s Ballon d’Or is Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won the award five times, most recently in 2017. Messi and Ronaldo’s recent dominance in price is such that in 2018, Luka Modric was the first non-pair to win since Kaká 11 years ago.

Ballon d’Or Men: the 10 multiple winners

Player Victories Years
Lionel Messi (Argentina) 6 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) 5 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
Michel Platini (France) 3 1983, 1984, 1985
Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) 3 1971, 1973, 1974
Marco van Basten (Netherlands) 3 1988, 1989, 1992
Franz Beckenbauer (Germany) 2 1972, 1976
Ronaldo (Brazil) 2 1997, 2002
Alfredo di Stéfano (Argentina / Spain / Colombia) 2 1957, 1959
Kevin Keegan (England) 2 1978, 1979
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany) 2 1980, 1981

Hegerberg and Rapinoe the only winning women to date

At the 2021 gala, the women’s Ballon d’Or will be awarded for the third time only. In 2018, the inaugural year, the award went to Ada Hegerberg from Lyon and Norway, ahead of OL Reign and the United States Megan Rapinoe became her second recipient in 2019. Neither player is on the list of 20 candidates selected this year.

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Age Hegerberg won the first female Ballon d’Or in 2018, followed by Megan Rapinoe in 2019.

Ballon d’Or 2021: full list of nominees

Ballon d’Or Men:

Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain / Italy), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus / Italy), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus / Italy), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea / Spain), Rúben Días (Manchester City / Portugal), Nicolò Barella (Inter Milan / Italy), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City / Belgium), Jorginho (Chelsea / Italy), Luka Modric (Real Madrid / Croatia), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United / Portugal), Phil Foden (Manchester City / England), Cristiano Ronaldo ( Manchester United / Portugal), Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund / Norway), Harry Kane (Tottenham / England), N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea / France), Simon Kjaer (AC Milan / Denmark), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich / Poland) , Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea / Belgium), Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City / Algeria), Lautaro Martínez (Inter Milan / Argentina), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid / France), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain / France), Lionel Messi ( Paris Saint-Germain / Argentina), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal / Spain), Mason Mount (Chelsea / England), Neymar (Paris Saint -Germain / Brazil), Pedri (Ba rcelona / Spain), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool / Egypt), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City / England), Luis Suárez (Atlético Madrid / Uruguay).

Ballon d’Or Women:

Kadidiatou Diani (Paris Saint-Germain / France), Fran Kirby (Chelsea / England), Jennifer Hermoso (Barcelona / Spain) Christiane Endler (Olympique Lyon / Chile), Christine Sinclair (Thorns FC / Canada), Ashley Lawrence (Paris Saint- Germain / Canada), Irene Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain / Barcelona / Spain), Jessie Fleming (Chelsea / Canada), Lieke Martens (Barcelona / Netherlands), Sandra Paños (Barcelona / Spain), Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal / Country -Bas), Ellen White (Manchester City / England), Pernille Harder (Chelsea / Denmark), Sam Mewis (North Carolina Courage / United States), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyon / France), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (Paris Saint- Germain / France), Stina Blackstenius (Hacken / Sweden), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea / Sweden), Sam Kerr (Chelsea / Australia), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona / Spain).

Yashin Trophy:

Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid / Belgium), Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan / Paris Saint-Germain / Italy), Ederson (Manchester City / Brazil), Édouard Mendy (Chelsea / Senegal), Samir Handanovic (Inter Milan), Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa / Argentina), Keylor Navas (Paris Saint-Germain / Costa Rica), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich / Germany), Jan Oblak (Atlético Madrid / Slovenia), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City / Denmark).

Kopa Trophy:

Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund / England), Jeremy Doku (Rennes / Belgium), Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax / Netherlands), Mason Greenwood (Manchester United / England), Nuno Mendes (Paris Saint-Germain / Portugal), Jamal Musiala ( Bayern Munich / Germany), Pedri (Barcelona / Spain), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund / USA), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal / England), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen / Germany).


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