Only European footballers were eligible to win the Ballon d'Or until 1995. So France Football modified the regulation and expanded the award to properly honor the greatest in the world. In 2001, they created a special award for Lionel Messiei (2018 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball winner). His brother Diego also received a medal for being the best player in the world during that year.
Lionel Messiei was born on 4 August 1987 in Rosario, Argentina. He is a Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Barcelona and the Argentina national team. During his career, he has won every major international trophy available to a soccer player with the exception of the World Cup. He is the most decorated athlete in history of sports.
He started his career at local club Rosario Central, before moving to Spanish club Barça in 2004. After scoring on his debut against RCD Mallorca, he went on to become one of the main stars of the club over the next eight years. In 2012, he joined Italian club Juventus, where he remained for four seasons before returning to Barça in 2016. In June 2017, he moved back to Juve for an additional two-year period.
A Ballon d'Or finalist twice, Thierry Henry was never given the most coveted individual footballing accolade, despite undoubtedly being the best player in the world at the time he was passed over. They even had Henry deliver the medal to Cristiano Ronaldo after he earned his third in 2015. The last Frenchman to be awarded the Ballon d'Or was Michel Platini, who received the prize in 1984.
Henry played for both Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal during a highly successful career that saw him win several trophies including the UEFA Champions League with Arsenal in 2004. He is also one of only four players to have scored in each international game for France, and the only one still playing today. His appearance rate makes him one of the most sought-after players in world football and he has been linked with many clubs throughout his career but has never moved from Arsenal.
He was named PFA Player of the Year in 2002/03 and 2003/04 and also won the Golden Boot in 2001/02 as well as the Ligue 1 top scorer award three times. Henry was part of the French team that finished first in their group in the 2002 World Cup, only to be defeated by Brazil in the next round. He also took part in the 2000 Olympic Games where France finished fourth.
Henry retired from professional football at the end of the 2013/14 season, having made more than 250 appearances for Arsenal.
The FIFA World Player of the Year award was amalgamated with France Football's Ballon d'Or in 2010 to establish the FIFA Ballon d'Or in a six-year cooperation. In 2010, the FIFA World Player of the Year award combined with the Ballon d'Or to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or in a six-year partnership. The 2011 edition of the Ballon d'Or was not given out because of the political turmoil in Libya and Egypt.
The FIFA World Player of the Year award was first presented in 1957 by FIFPro, now known as International Federation of Professional Footballers, at that time the world governing body for football players' rights negotiations. Since then, it has been awarded annually to the best player in the world as voted by their fellow professionals.
The winner is chosen by votes from journalists across the globe who work for national newspapers or magazines that cover soccer issues. Each voter can choose only one player as their favorite, so most years only one player is declared the winner. But sometimes if no candidate receives an absolute majority of votes, a runoff election will be held between the two highest vote getters from the first round.
In addition to the World Player of the Year award, FIFPro also awards the Golden Ball and the Silver Boot. The Golden Ball is given to the best player at the FIFA World Cup while the Silver Boot goes to the top scorer at this tournament. These awards are also voted on by members of FIFPro.
On December 20, 1994, Hristo Stoichkov received the 1994 Ballon d'Or, which was presented to the finest football player in Europe as determined by a panel of sports journalists from UEFA member nations. ... Tables.
In 1968, he won the "Ballon d'Or," an accolade awarded to Europe's greatest player of the year. He was inducted into the "English Football Hall of Fame" posthumously in 2008 for his lifetime contributions in English football. The award is presented annually by France's L'Equipe magazine.
George Graham Best was a Northern Irish footballer who played as a forward. Nicknamed "The Gravedigger", he was a quick, skillful, and aggressive player with excellent ball control. A prolific goalscorer, he is regarded as one of the best forwards in the history of soccer. During his career, Best won three European championships with Northern Ireland and one with Manchester United.
He first attracted attention while playing for Belfast Celtic, where he was nicknamed "Tiger". After impressing at international level, he joined French club Saint-Étienne in 1959. In five seasons with the "Lions", Best scored 85 goals in 143 matches and was named Frenchman of the Year twice. In 1964, he moved to England to join Manchester United for a fee that could have been as high as £750,000 (US$1.5 million). He became an instant hit with fans and earned himself the nickname "Gentleman Joe". In four seasons with United, Best helped them win the League Championship title in 1968 before retiring due to a knee injury.
Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or award as the World Player of the Year. It was his second Ballon d'Or, following his first in 2008. It was also his first FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Cristiano Ronaldo received the Ballon d'Or (later renamed the FIFA World Player of the Year Award) in 2008 while playing for Manchester United. He was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2013 and again the following year.
The number 7 is special because it's been awarded as a world-wide prize. No other player or team has been included in the selection process so no one else can wear it. However, other players have been given out prizes in the past by France when they think they're doing something special. If anyone else tried to wear it, then France would need to give them another award instead.
Pele holds the record for most Ballons d'Ors with five awards. Franz Beckenbauer is second with four awards. Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini, Ronaldo, Andriy Shevchenko, and Thierry Henry are all three-time winners.
Ronaldo is the top scorer in international football with 102 goals. He broke his own record last year when he scored five times in a match against Colombia.