MIND-BLOWING FACTS: TOP 7 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Ballon d’Or

MIND-BLOWING FACTS: TOP 7 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Ballon d’Or

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

English players have had a tough time in the Ballon d’Or nominations since 2012. Before Harry Kane’s nomination this year, Jamie Vardy was the only other player to receive a nomination.

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

Blackpool has more Ballon d’Or winners than Arsenal and Chelsea and the same number as Liverpool (1). Sir Stanley Matthews won the first ever Ballon d’Or in 1956 when he was with Blackpool.

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

FC Barcelona would still have six Ballon d’Ors in their trophy room. The Catalans have 11 winners in their ranks, with Messi winning five of them.

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.

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