Awarded by France Football magazine, the Ballon d’Or has been given out to men every year since 1956. Both 2020 awards were cancelled because the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season.
Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d’Or a record seven times, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won it five times. On October 30, 2023, the FIFA World Cup winner added another trophy to his cabinet, winning his eight at the at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Monday.
How many Ballon d’Or trophies has does Messi won?
Messi won his first Ballon d’Or 14 years ago, just five years into his senior professional career. He has won eight Ballon d’Or trophies since. Here is a look back at all his eight Ballon d’Or titles:
Messi finished ahead of last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo by a record 240-point margin, with his Barcelona teammate Xavi in third.
The 22-year-old became the first Argentine to win the Ballon d’Or, although Argentine-born players Alfredo di Stefano and Omar Sivori, then regarded as Europeans, received the trophy when it was still called the European Footballer of the Year award.
The award capped a brilliant year for the soft-spoken left-footer, who helped treble-winning Barcelona lift the Champions League title with nine goals, as well as bagging 23 in the league and six in the King’s Cup.
The award’s 96 jurors gave Messi 473 points out of a possible 480, a near unanimous verdict. Portugal’s Ronaldo picked up 233 points in the vote by journalists from across the world, now open to players from all leagues and nationalities, with Spain’s Xavi tallying 170 points.
Messi won the trophy for a second straight year, finishing ahead of Barcelona teammates Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
“It’s a very special day for me,” Messi said through a translator on receiving the award at a gala ceremony in FIFA’s home city.
Messi helped an exciting Barcelona team retain its Spanish league title and lead the standings again this season. His trademark tricky play was often mesmerizing and he scored 58 goals for the Catalan club in 2010. However, he had a disappointing World Cup in South Africa, failing to score. Iniesta and Xavi, by comparison, starred for eventual winner Spain.
Messi obtained 22.65 percent of the votes cast by coaches and captains of national teams plus invited journalists. The original shortlist featured 23 players.
Iniesta finished second with 17.36 percent and Xavi received 16.48 percent to finish third for the second straight year.
The Barcelona and Argentina forward received the FIFA Ballon d’Or award for 2011, beating his club teammate Xavi Hernandez, and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid to the game’s most prestigious individual honour.
Messi’s prolific scoring and unselfish creative play inspired Barcelona to win five trophies last year, including the Champions League, Spanish League and Club World Cup.
Messi was the first man to win three straight FIFA World Player Awards in the honour’s 21-year history. Zinedine Zidane of France also won three FIFA player awards.
The Argentine received 47.88 per cent of the points in votes cast by national team coaches and captains plus invited journalists. They chose from an original shortlist of 23 players. Ronaldo finished second with 21.6 per cent and Xavi got 9.23 per cent to finish third for the third straight year.
Messi won the award as an expected reward for his astonishing 91-goal year for Barcelona and Argentina in 2012.
His fourth award lifted him above three—time FIFA winners Zinedine Zidane of France and Brazil’s Ronaldo. The old Ballon d’Or trophy for players in Europe was won three times by France great Michel Platini, and Netherlands forwards Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten.
Messi beat his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Spanish champion Real Madrid and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta, who starred as Spain won the 2012 European Championship.
Messi received 41.60 per cent of the points in votes cast by national team coaches and captains plus invited journalists, who gave their top—three lists from an original slate of 23 players.
Ronaldo got 23.68 per cent and Iniesta scored 10.91 per cent.
Lionel Messi beat eternal rival Ronaldo to take back his crown as the undisputed king of world football by lifting a record fifth Ballon d’Or.
Messi won by a landslide. Two magical goals in three minutes at the Camp Nou dealt a killer blow from which Bayern never recovered.
“There is not a system or coach to stop talent of his magnitude,” said Guardiola.
After a two-year spell on top, not even Ronaldo could prevent Messi’s march back to being the world’s best.
Messi received 41.33 per cent of the votes, with Ronaldo (27.76%) in second place and Neymar (7.86%) third.
Messi scored a remarkable 52 goals for club and country across the calendar year - five less than Ronaldo - as well as contributing 26 assists in 61 appearances, scoring or assisting every 0.78 games.
Lionel Messi beat Virgil van Dijk to the 2019 Ballon d’Or by a slender seven-point margin. France Football declared Messi’s record sixth victory to be among the narrowest in the 63-year history of the prestigious prize.
The then Barcelona captain finished top of the count with 686 points, just ahead of Liverpool defender Van Dijk’s 679.
Third-placed Cristiano Ronaldo, who did not attend Monday’s ceremony, tallied 476 points, 210 fewer than long-time rival Messi. Sadio Mane, fourth on 347 points, was the only other player to exceed the 200-mark.
Runner-up Van Dijk praised Messi’s “unnatural” ability and said he had complete respect for the 32-year-old. When asked about five-time winner Ronaldo’s absence, he joked: “Was he a candidate?”
Ronaldo’s sister, singer Katia Aveiro, failed to see the funny side of the light-hearted comment, firing back at the Dutchman in a lengthy Instagram rant.
Lionel Messi won the men’s Ballon d’Or for a record-extending seventh time, ending the year in style after a brilliant final season with Barcelona and earning his first major international trophy with Argentina.
The 34-year-old Messi led Argentina to the Copa America title in July after losing in four major international finals. He finished with 613 points to top prolific Bayern Munich and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski on 580 in the votes.
“I would like to say to Robert that it’s an honor to be your rival, and everyone would say you deserved to win it last year,” Messi said.
Ronaldo finished sixth in the voting.
Messi, a seven time Ballon d’Or winner, had a roller coaster of a 2022-2023 season which included finally winning the elusive FIFA World Cup trophy with his national side
Messi played a total of 790 minutes in the Qatar World Cup, scoring seven goals and three assists for his side The Qatar World Cup was long being seen as Messi’s last chance to complete his stacked trophy cabinet. He was named player of the tournament, capping a magical run in Doha
On the club side of things, Messi had a tumultous half of a season at Paris Saint Germain, even if he won Ligue 1 alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
He scored 21 goals for the French club, but was clearly never happy in Paris and was even jeered by his own supporters at times, before moving to Inter Miami in Major League Soccer earlier this year.
Given the Ballon d’Or only accounts for performances up to the end of July, Messi’s following achievement of dragging a Miami team that had been winless in 11 MLS matches prior to Leagues Cup glory will not be in consideration, as well as the US Open Cup final, though his impact at the club has been remarkable.
Injury limited Messi’s minutes – and dashed Miami’s chances of sneaking into the MLS Cup playoffs or winning the US Open Cup – in the final stages of the regular season, but he finished the campaign with 11 goals and five assists in all competitions, from just 14 appearances.
His United States sojourn is setting up to be the perfect swansong to a storied career with the adultation of a vibrant community backing him every step of the way
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