Who Has Won The Most Ballon d’Or Awards?

The Ballon d’Or, is a prestigious award presented annually by France Football. It honors the best-performing football player in the world. In this article, we shall discuss “Who Has Won The Most Ballon d’Or Awards?”. Also, we will discuss: History Of The Ballon d’Or, Which Player Currently Has Most Ballons d’Or?, List Of Multiple Ballons d’Or Winners, Have Messi Won The Ballon d’Or? How Many?, etc.

Do you really want to know who has won the most Ballon d’Or awards? Read On!


History Of The Ballon d’Or

Since 1956, the French news magazine France Football has given out the well-known Ballon d’Or football award. It temporarily combined with the FIFA World Player of the Year from 2010 to 2015 under the name FIFA Ballon d’Or.

However, in 2016, the collaboration ended, leading to the revival of the original Ballon d’Or and the creation of FIFA’s independent annual award, The Best FIFA Men’s Player.


Recipients of the joint FIFA Ballon d’Or are acknowledged as winners by both award organizations. This award has always been considered one of football’s most prestigious individual honors.

More Information

Starting from 2007, the ability to vote for the Ballon d’Or got to coaches and captains of national teams. The award gained a worldwide recognition, allowing the consideration of all professional footballers worldwide.

In 2022, France Football made alterations to the Ballon d’Or’s regulations, shifting the time frame for consideration from a calendar year to a football season. Moreover, they restricted the voting privilege to nations within the top 100 of the FIFA World Ranking.


Which Player Currently Has Most Ballons d’Or?

Lionel Messi holds the record for the most honors in the Ballon d’Or’s history, securing eight titles. Cristiano Ronaldo follows closely in second place, having clinched the award five times. Additionally, Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, and Marco van Basten each earned the prestigious recognition three times.

Details Of The Ballon d’Or

Date1956; 67 years ago
LocationParis, France
Presented byFrance Football
First awarded1956
Current holder Lionel Messi
(8th award)
Most awards Lionel Messi
(8 awards)
Most nominations Cristiano Ronaldo
(18 nominations)

List Of Multiple Ballons d’Or Winners

RankPlayerNo. of Ballons d’OrYears won
1Lionel Messi82009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021, 2023
2Cristiano Ronaldo52008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
=3Michel Platini31983, 1984, 1985
=3Johan Cruyff31971, 1973, 1974
=3Marco van Basten31988, 1989, 1992
=5Franz Beckenbauer21972, 1976
=5Ronaldo21997, 2002
=5Alfredo di Stefano1957, 1959
=5Kevin Keegan21978, 1979
=5Karl-Heinz Rummenigge21980, 1981

Have Messi Won The Ballon d’Or? How Many?

In 2008, Messi finished second in the rankings behind Ronaldo. However, he didn’t have to wait long to secure his first Ballon d’Or, winning it in the following year.

This marked the beginning of a streak where the Barcelona star claimed the award four times in a row. Here, the rivalry with the Portuguese attacker took center stage in top-tier football. Although he lost to Ronaldo in 2013 and 2014, Messi reclaimed the top spot in 2015. That was when he took his fifth award.

In 2019, he secured his sixth Ballon d’Or, and his tally continued to grow in 2021 and 2023, reaching a total of eight in his career.

Messi’s Ballon d’Or, With First & Second Runners-Up

2023Lionel MessiErling HaalandKylian Mbappe
2021Lionel MessiRobert LewandowskiJorginho
2019Lionel MessiVirgil van DijkCristiano Ronaldo
2015Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoNeymar
2012Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoAndres Iniesta
2011Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoXavi
2010Lionel MessiAndres IniestaXavi
2009Lionel MessiCristiano RonaldoXavi

Have Cristiano Ronaldo Won The Ballon d’Or? How Many?

In 2007, Ronaldo achieved a place in the top three for the first time, yet he ended up as the runner-up, with Kaka from AC Milan taking the lead.

A year later, Ronaldo’s aspiration was fulfilled when he secured his first title, although it took several years and numerous close calls before he secured his second award.

Following this, he went on to secure the awards in 2014, 2016, and 2017, intensifying his rivalry with Messi.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ballon d’Or, With First & Second Runners-Up

2017Cristiano RonaldoLionel Messi Neymar
2016Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiAntoine Griezmann
2014Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiManuel Neuer
2013Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiFranck Ribery
2008Cristiano RonaldoLionel MessiFernando Torres

Does Pele Have A Ballon d’Or Award?

No, Pele doesn’t have a Ballon d’Or award. The reason Pele never received the Ballon d’Or was due to a rule that prevented non-European players from winning it. However, the policy changed in 1995.

France Football disclosed that if he had been eligible, he would have accumulated seven titles. As a result of this, he will be the record holder until Messi won his seventh in 2021. According to the Ballon d’Or publication, Pele would have won in the years 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, and 1970.

Does Diego Maradona Have A Ballon d’Or Award? How Many?

Yes, Diego Maradona won the Ballon d’Or award. He received the prestigious honor once, in 1986.

Final Thoughts

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both won the Ballon d’Or awards multiple times, with Messi having won it eight times and Ronaldo having won it five times. Their remarkable achievements have solidified their places as two of the greatest footballers in history.

As for who has won the most Ballon d’Or awards, it is Lionel Messi with eight awards.


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