5 countries with the most Ballon d’Or awards in football history

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Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times in his career. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Since its creation in 1956, the Ballon d’Or has been a major award in professional football. Every player’s dream is to win the trophy at least once to solidify their career as one of the greatest of all time.

So far in history, the Ballon d’Or has been awarded 64 times. Normally, players from major footballing nations are the ones who win the trophy. It was mainly European or South American players who dominated the trophy. Liberia is the only African country to have a representative who wins the award.

Some countries have produced so many incredible footballers that their number of trophies has also increased exponentially.

So here is an overview of the 5 countries with the most Ballon d’Or wins in the history of football.

Argentina (7 Ballon d’Or won, 1 player)

Just to reference how surreal Argentina’s run up the Ballon d’Or winners’ bracket has been, they haven’t won any awards until the 21st.st century. But one man changed all that. The man in question is, of course, Lionel Messi’s own! The Argentine sensation has been a magnet for the Ballon d’Or since winning his first in 2009.

He has since won the award seven times in his career, more than any other player in football history. This includes winning four years in a row from 2009 to 2012. Messi won his seventh last year, catapulting Argentina to the top of the nations rankings with the most Ballon d’Or awards in history.

Netherlands (7 wins, 3 players)

The Dutch have never won the FIFA World Cup, but they are used to producing incredible footballing talent. Among the most famous is Johan Cruyff, the first Dutchman to win the Ballon d’Or. He won it three times (1971, 1973, 1974) and paved the way for many other world-class footballers to follow on his path.

After him, Ruud Gullit was the next Dutchman to win the Ballon d’Or (1987) and Marco van Basten, often considered one of the greatest strikers of all time, matched Cruyff’s feat by winning it three times. consecutively in 1988, 1989. and 1992. Since then, not a single Dutch footballer has enjoyed such glory and the country is stuck on 7 wins.

Portugal (7 wins, 3 players)

Just like the Netherlands national team, Portugal have never enjoyed World Cup success either. But that hasn’t stopped them from developing a number of incredible players who are considered some of the best in history. The biggest figure to come out of Portugal is, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Manchester United star has won 5 Ballon d’Or awards during his career, one at Old Trafford and four at Real Madrid. Ronaldo is the second most decorated player in Ballon d’Or history and the third Portuguese to win the trophy.

Eusebio was the first Portuguese player to win (1965) and Luis Figo followed in 2000. Knowing the range of talent the country is still producing, Portugal should get more Ballon d’Or material throughout this century.

Germany (7 wins, 5 players)

Germany has a long and storied history in international football and they have a reputation for being among the top footballing nations at every World Cup cycle. The Germans have won the World Cup four times and lifted the European Championship trophy three times, establishing themselves as one of the best European nations of all time. Their success stems from their ability to consistently produce world-class footballers.

Some German footballers have been a level above the rest. Five German players have won the Ballon d’Or: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller, Lothar Matthaus and Matthias Sammer – the last German player to win it (1996).

Rummenigge and Beckenbauer have won the trophy twice each, making Germany one of the most decorated nations in Ballon d’Or history.

France (6 wins, 4 players)

The reigning World Cup champions have a star squad, full of world-class players, but their success is not a thing of recent history. They have been a major force in world football for decades and have produced some truly incredible and unique players. France have had four players who have won the prestigious award.

Pioneer striker Raymond Kopa won it in 1958, delivering the top prize for France. Michel Platini won it three times in a row (1983-85) and Jean Pierre-Papin won the trophy in 1991.

The great Zinedine Zidane was the last Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or, claiming the award in 1998. With the number of French football wonderkids at the moment, a seventh Ballon d’Or may not be too far away. . And Karim Benzema is favorite to win the next trophy which will be awarded on October 17.

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