Ballon d’Or

Lionel Messi has won the 2009 Ballon d’Or, awarded to the European footballer of the year, after inspiring Barcelona to the treble last season. The forward was outstanding as the Catalan club won the Champions League, the Spanish title and the Copa del Rey.

Messi beat last year’s winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, into second place by a record margin and becomes the sixth Barcelona player to take the award and the first since Brazil’s Ronaldinho in 2005.

The Argentina international, 22, was the top scorer in last season’s Champions League with nine goals, including his header in the 2-0 victory in the final over Manchester United, for whom Ronaldo was playing his final match before joining Real Madrid. He also scored six times in the Copa del Rey and found the net on 23 occasions in the Spanish league.

Barcelona effectively had four players in the top five, with Xavi third and Andrés Iniesta fourth ahead of the former Barça player Samuel Eto’o, who is now with Internazionale.

Wayne Rooney was the highest placed England international in eighth. Immediately behind him are more Premier League players in Didier Drogba, Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fábregas.

2009 Ballon D’Or Standings

1 Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona), 473 points
2 Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid), 233
3 Xavi (Spain, Barcelona), 170
4 Andres Iniesta (Spain, Barcelona), 149
5 Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon, Internazionale), 75
6 Kaká (Brazil, Real Madrid), 58
7 Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Barcelona), 50
8 Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United), 35
9 Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea), 33
10 Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool), 32
11 Fernando Torres (Spain, Liverpool), 22
12 Cesc Fábregas (Spain, Arsenal), 13
13 Edin Dzeko (Bosnia, Wolfsburg), 12
14 Ryan Giggs (Wales, Manchester United), 11
15 Thierry Henry (France, Barcelona), 9
16= Luis Fabiano (Brazil, Sevilla) 8
16= Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United), 8
16= Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid), 8
19 Diego Forlan (Uruguay, Atlético Madrid), 7
20 Yoann Gourcuff (France, Bordeaux), 6
21= Andrey Arshavin (Russia, Arsenal), 5
21= Júlio César (Brazil, Inter), 5
21= Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea), 5
24 Maicon (Brazil, Inter), 4
25 Diego (Brazil, Juventus), 3
26= David Villa (Spain, Valencia), 2
26= John Terry (England, Chelsea), 2
28 Franck Ribéry (France, Bayern Munich), 1
28= Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast, Barcelona), 1
30 Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid), 0

Ballon D’Or History

Considered the pinnacle of personal awards in Football, the Ballon d’Or has had a rich history through out the last quarter of a century, indeed no other award can lay claim to the influence the Ballon d’Or has had. Be it the transformation of great players into legendary players or influencing the transfer policies of some of the world’s biggest club.

How did it all come about though? Where did the Ballon d’Or begin? To answer that question we need to look at the man who is considered to be the grand father of European football as we know it today – Gabriel Hanot.

Hanot was a truly remarkable man, a fully capped international for France he would go onto be the Manager of the French national team, whilst at the same time being a Journalist for French Football magazine L’Equipe.

This unconventional arrangement would end in a rather amusing way. After a 5-1 defeat to Spain, Hanot in his role as a Journalist berated the players and then followed up with a unsigned article calling for the resignation of himself. Sure enough, the following day Hanot the coach uncerimonyiasly resigned from his post.

Looking back, European Football can probably be thankful for Hanot’s split personality. With his mangerial career out of the way he was able to focus on Journalism and as a bi product European Football in general. Hanot made three major contributions to European Football as we know it. First he played an important role in Professionalising Football, a trend that would occur all over the World.

His Second achievement was perhaps his most famous, whilst watching Wolves defeat several European opponents, he was struck by their claim that they were now the best team in the world. Inspired, Hanot went about formalising a plan for the first European competition, finally he said we could know just who was the best team in the World! Just like that the European Cup was born, which of course today has involved into the Champions League.

His third idea, whilst perhaps not as famous is what we are concerned about with today. I’m of course talking about the Ballon d’Or. Hanot was occupying the role of Chief Magazine Writer for France Football when he asked his fellow Journalists to vote on who they felt was the best European Footballer over the past season in 1952. The answer was Blackpool’s Sir Stanley Matthews and so just like that the Ballon d’Or was born.

For almost 40 years the award remained unchanged. A select panel of European Journalists would vote on who they felt the best European footballer of the season had been. It wasn’t until 1995 after many years of pressure, that non European players (These non European players had to be plying their trade in Europe however) became eligible for the Ballon d’Or. As fate would have it George Weah the Liberian genius won the award in the very year the rules were first changed!

In 2007 the rules were changed once again to give us the rules that currently exist today. Today any player from any nationality playing in any country can be nominated for the Ballon d’Or. Nominations are now handled by a 96 select Journalists across the world, who select their top five players. Points are assigned for each nomination.

The most recent winner of the Ballon d’Or was of course Cristiano Ronaldo, primarily for his efforts in propelling Manchester United to a league and Champions League double. Ronaldo scored a remarkable 42 goals in that season and won the Ballon d’Or with 446 votes. His nearest rival Leo Messi had 281 votes, whilst Fernando Torres who finished third had 179 votes.

Ballon D’Or Winners:

Year Place Player Nationality Club Points  
1956 1st Stanley Matthews England Flag of England Blackpool 047  
2nd Alfredo di Stéfano Spain Flag of Spain Real Madrid 044  
3rd Raymond Kopa France Flag of Spain Real Madrid 033  
1957 1st Alfredo di Stéfano Spain Flag of Spain Real Madrid 072  
2nd Billy Wright England Flag of England Wolverhampton Wanderers 019  
3rd= Raymond Kopa France Flag of Spain Real Madrid 016  
3rd= Duncan Edwards England Flag of England Manchester United 016  
1958 1st Raymond Kopa France Flag of Spain Real Madrid 071  
2nd Helmut Rahn West Germany Flag of West Germany Rot-Weiss Essen 040  
3rd Just Fontaine France Flag of France Stade Reims 023  
1959 1st Alfredo di Stéfano Spain Flag of Spain Real Madrid 080  
2nd Raymond Kopa France Flag of Spain Real Madrid 042  
3rd John Charles Wales Flag of Italy Juventus 024  
1960 1st Luis Suárez Spain Flag of Spain Barcelona 054  
2nd Ferenc Puskás Hungary Flag of Spain Real Madrid 037  
3rd Uwe Seeler West Germany Flag of West Germany Hamburg 033  
1961 1st Omar Sívori Italy Flag of Italy Juventus 046  
2nd Luis Suárez Spain Flag of Italy Internazionale 040  
3rd Johnny Haynes England Flag of England Fulham 022  
1962 1st Josef Masopust Czechoslovakia Flag of Czechoslovakia Dukla Prague 065  
2nd Eusébio Portugal Flag of Portugal Benfica 053  
3rd Karl-Heinz Schnellinger West Germany Flag of West Germany Köln 033  
1963 1st Lev Yashin Soviet Union Flag of the Soviet Union Dynamo Moscow 073  
2nd Gianni Rivera Italy Flag of Italy Milan 055  
3rd Jimmy Greaves England Flag of England Tottenham Hotspur 050  
1964 1st Denis Law Scotland Flag of England Manchester United 061  
2nd Luis Suárez Spain Flag of Italy Internazionale 043  
3rd Amancio Spain Flag of Spain Real Madrid 038  
1965 1st Eusébio Portugal Flag of Portugal Benfica 067  
2nd Giacinto Facchetti Italy Flag of Italy Internazionale 059  
3rd Luis Suárez Spain Flag of Italy Internazionale 045  
1966 1st Bobby Charlton England Flag of England Manchester United 081  
2nd Eusébio Portugal Flag of Portugal Benfica 080  
3rd Franz Beckenbauer West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 059  
1967 1st Flórián Albert Hungary Flag of Hungary Ferencváros 068  
2nd Bobby Charlton England Flag of England Manchester United 040  
3rd Jimmy Johnstone Scotland Flag of Scotland Celtic 039  
1968 1st George Best Northern Ireland Flag of England Manchester United 061  
2nd Bobby Charlton England Flag of England Manchester United 053  
3rd Dragan Džajić Yugoslavia Flag of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 046  
1969 1st Gianni Rivera Italy Flag of Italy Milan 083  
2nd Luigi Riva Italy Flag of Italy Cagliari 079  
3rd Gerd Müller West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 038  
1970 1st Gerd Müller West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 077  
2nd Bobby Moore England Flag of England West Ham United 070  
3rd Luigi Riva Italy Flag of Italy Cagliari 065  
1971 1st Johan Cruyff Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands Ajax 116  
2nd Sandro Mazzola Italy Flag of Italy Internazionale 057  
3rd George Best Northern Ireland Flag of England Manchester United 056  
1972 1st Franz Beckenbauer West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 081  
2nd= Gerd Müller West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 079  
2nd= Günter Netzer West Germany Flag of West Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 079  
1973 1st Johan Cruyff Netherlands Flag of Spain Barcelona 096  
2nd Dino Zoff Italy Flag of Italy Juventus 047  
3rd Gerd Müller West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 044  
1974 1st Johan Cruyff Netherlands Flag of Spain Barcelona 116  
2nd Franz Beckenbauer West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 105  
3rd Kazimierz Deyna Poland Flag of Poland Legia Warsaw 035  
1975 1st Oleg Blokhin Soviet Union Flag of the Soviet Union Dynamo Kyiv 122  
2nd Franz Beckenbauer West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 042  
3rd Johan Cruyff Netherlands Flag of Spain Barcelona 027  
1976 1st Franz Beckenbauer West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 091  
2nd Rob Rensenbrink Netherlands Flag of Belgium Anderlecht 075  
3rd Ivo Viktor Czechoslovakia Flag of Czechoslovakia Dukla Prague 052  
1977 1st Allan Simonsen Denmark Flag of Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 074  
2nd Kevin Keegan England Flag of Germany Hamburg 071  
3rd Michel Platini France Flag of France Nancy 070  
1978 1st Kevin Keegan England Flag of Germany Hamburg 087  
2nd Hans Krankl Austria Flag of Spain Barcelona 081  
3rd Rob Rensenbrink Netherlands Flag of Belgium Anderlecht 050  
1979 1st Kevin Keegan England Flag of Germany Hamburg 118  
2nd Karl-Heinz Rummenigge West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 052  
3rd Ruud Krol Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands Ajax 041  
1980 1st Karl-Heinz Rummenigge West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 122  
2nd Bernd Schuster West Germany Flag of Spain Barcelona 034  
3rd Michel Platini France Flag of France Saint-Étienne 033  
1981 1st Karl-Heinz Rummenigge West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 106  
2nd Paul Breitner West Germany Flag of West Germany Bayern Munich 064  
3rd Bernd Schuster West Germany Flag of Spain Barcelona 039  
1982 1st Paolo Rossi Italy Flag of Italy Juventus 115  
2nd Alain Giresse France Flag of France Bordeaux 064  
3rd Zbigniew Boniek Poland Flag of Italy Juventus 053  
1983 1st Michel Platini France Flag of Italy Juventus 110  
2nd Kenny Dalglish Scotland Flag of England Liverpool 026  
3rd Allan Simonsen Denmark Flag of Denmark Vejle 025  
1984 1st Michel Platini France Flag of Italy Juventus 128  
2nd Jean Tigana France Flag of France Bordeaux 057  
3rd Preben Elkjær Denmark Flag of Italy Verona 048  
1985 1st Michel Platini France Flag of Italy Juventus 127  
2nd Preben Elkjær Denmark Flag of Italy Verona 071  
3rd Bernd Schuster West Germany Flag of Spain Barcelona 046  
1986 1st Igor Belanov Soviet Union Flag of the Soviet Union Dynamo Kyiv 084  
2nd Gary Lineker England Flag of Spain Barcelona 062  
3rd Emilio Butragueño Spain Flag of Spain Real Madrid 059  
1987 1st Ruud Gullit Netherlands Flag of Italy Milan 106  
2nd Paulo Futre Portugal Flag of Spain Atlético Madrid 091  
3rd Emilio Butragueño Spain Flag of Spain Real Madrid 061  
1988 1st Marco van Basten Netherlands Flag of Italy Milan 129  
2nd Ruud Gullit Netherlands Flag of Italy Milan 088  
3rd Frank Rijkaard Netherlands Flag of Italy Milan 045  
1989 1st Marco van Basten Netherlands Flag of Italy Milan 119  
2nd Franco Baresi Italy Flag of Italy Milan 080  
3rd Frank Rijkaard Netherlands Flag of Italy Milan 043  
1990 1st Lothar Matthäus Germany Flag of Italy Internazionale 137  
2nd Salvatore Schillaci Italy Flag of Italy Juventus 084  
3rd Andreas Brehme Germany Flag of Italy Internazionale 068  
1991 1st Jean-Pierre Papin France Flag of France Marseille 141  
2nd= Dejan Savićević Yugoslavia Flag of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 042  
2nd= Darko Pančev Yugoslavia Flag of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 042  
2nd= Lothar Matthäus Germany Flag of Italy Internazionale 042  
1992 1st Marco van Basten Netherlands Flag of Italy Milan 098  
2nd Hristo Stoichkov Bulgaria Flag of Spain Barcelona 080  
3rd Dennis Bergkamp Netherlands Flag of the Netherlands Ajax 053  
1993 1st Roberto Baggio Italy Flag of Italy Juventus 142  
2nd Dennis Bergkamp Netherlands Flag of Italy Internazionale 083  
3rd Eric Cantona France Flag of England Manchester United 034  
1994 1st Hristo Stoichkov Bulgaria Flag of Spain Barcelona 210  
2nd Roberto Baggio Italy Flag of Italy Juventus 136  
3rd Paolo Maldini Italy Flag of Italy Milan 109  
1995 1st George Weah Liberia Flag of Italy Milan 144  
2nd Jürgen Klinsmann Germany Flag of Germany Bayern Munich 108  
3rd Jari Litmanen Finland Flag of the Netherlands Ajax 067  
1996 1st Matthias Sammer Germany Flag of Germany Borussia Dortmund 144  
2nd Ronaldo Brazil Flag of Spain Barcelona 143  
3rd Alan Shearer England Flag of England Newcastle United 107  
1997 1st Ronaldo Brazil Flag of Italy Internazionale 222  
2nd Predrag Mijatović Yugoslavia Flag of Spain Real Madrid 068  
3rd Zinedine Zidane France Flag of Italy Juventus 063  
1998 1st Zinedine Zidane France Flag of Italy Juventus 244  
2nd Davor Šuker Croatia Flag of Spain Real Madrid 068  
3rd Ronaldo Brazil Flag of Italy Internazionale 066  
1999 1st Rivaldo Brazil Flag of Spain Barcelona 219  
2nd David Beckham England Flag of England Manchester United 154  
3rd Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine Flag of Italy Milan 064  
2000 1st Luís Figo Portugal Flag of Spain Real Madrid 197  
2nd Zinedine Zidane France Flag of Italy Juventus 181  
3rd Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine Flag of Italy Milan 085  
2001 1st Michael Owen England Flag of England Liverpool 176  
2nd Raúl Spain Flag of Spain Real Madrid 140  
3rd Oliver Kahn Germany Flag of Germany Bayern Munich 114  
2002 1st Ronaldo Brazil Flag of Spain Real Madrid 169  
2nd Roberto Carlos Brazil Flag of Spain Real Madrid 145  
3rd Oliver Kahn Germany Flag of Germany Bayern Munich 110  
2003 1st Pavel Nedvěd Czech Republic Flag of Italy Juventus 190  
2nd Thierry Henry France Flag of England Arsenal 128  
3rd Paolo Maldini Italy Flag of Italy Milan 123  
2004 1st Andriy Shevchenko Ukraine Flag of Italy Milan 175  
2nd Deco Portugal Flag of Spain Barcelona 139  
3rd Ronaldinho Brazil Flag of Spain Barcelona 133  
2005 1st Ronaldinho Brazil Flag of Spain Barcelona 225  
2nd Frank Lampard England Flag of England Chelsea 148  
3rd Steven Gerrard England Flag of England Liverpool 142  
2006 1st Fabio Cannavaro Italy Flag of Spain Real Madrid 173  
2nd Gianluigi Buffon Italy Flag of Italy Juventus 124  
3rd Thierry Henry France Flag of England Arsenal 121  
2007 1st Kaká Brazil Flag of Italy Milan 444  
2nd Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Flag of England Manchester United 277  
3rd Lionel Messi Argentina Flag of Spain Barcelona 255  
2008 1st Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Flag of England Manchester United 446  
2nd Lionel Messi Argentina Flag of Spain Barcelona 281  
3rd Fernando Torres Spain Flag of England Liverpool 179  

Ballon D’Or Trivia:

Michel Platini is the only player to have won the award three times in a row; he won the award from 1983 to 1985.

Ronaldo was the first Brazilian to win the award in 1997.

George Weah was the first non european to win the award in 1995.

German and Dutch players each share the record for winning the Ballon d’Or on seven different occasions.

The most successful clubs have been Milan and Juventus, with each team having had six players when the award whilst playing in their colours, although each team has eight awards.

Sponsored Post: Smokefree United helps you quit smoking and win footie prizes
FIFA World Player of the Year Award