A footballer’s greatest ever individual recognition that he will get in his career is the Ballon d’Or. Presented by France Football, the gong has gone on to be recognized as one of the biggest footballing awards on the planet.
BUT there are some facts which have not yet reached the masses about the gong and its rich history.
7. Votes and Nominations
Paul Scholes of Manchester United, on the other hand, was a nominee on five occasions, but sadly, never received a single vote. Similarly, Karim Benzema of Real Madrid was nominated in 2009 but could not garner a single vote.
6. Surprises Galore
Surprisingly Jamie Carragher and Cristiano Ronaldo were tied in the Ballon d’Or rankings? Yes, this did happen in 2005 when Carragher and Ronaldo were joint 20th in the rankings.
5. First non-European recipient of the gong
Until 1995, France Football adjudged winners only from the pool of players from European countries. The year of 1995 saw the rule being changed for good. George Weah won the prized trophy in 1995 after a sensational calendar year for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan.
4. Clubs with the most Ballon d’Or winners
Luis Suarez was the first in 1960, Johan Cruyff won it twice while Hristo Stoichkov, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho were the other winners. Real Madrid follows with nine; whereas Juventus and AC Milan are joint-third with eight each.