Most Ballon d’Or Winners- Exclusive List! Which soccer player has won the most Ballon d’Or awards? The Ballon d’Or is an annual soccer award that France Football has presented since 1956. Professional soccer players worldwide are eligible for this global prize, so different players from various countries have won the award.
The award has been awarded to the male soccer players who performed the best over the previous year based on voting. Soccer journalists, coaches, and captains of national teams are given the right to vote.
Did you know Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or by the second-biggest margin ever?
For soccer fans, the name Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo immediately comes to mind for most winners. It is no surprise because both are considered among soccer’s most athletic and greatest players.
But aside from these two players, can you guess which players have won this prestigious French soccer award?
Worry not. We present our exclusive list of soccer players with the most Ballon d’Or. We have compiled a list of the ten players and their details with the most wins. Now let us dive into the list!
Here is a quick peek at the player rankings on our list.
|Total Ballon d’Or wins
|10. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
|9. Kevin Keegan
|8. Alfredo Di Stéfano
|6. Franz Beckenbauer
|5. Marco van Basten
|4. Johan Cruyff
|3. Michel Platini
|2. Cristiano Ronaldo
|1. Lionel Messi
Most Ballon d’Or Winners- Exclusive List
We have prepared our exclusive list with the help of references from WIKIPEDIA.
10. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
We are starting our exclusive list with former German professional player Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
The 68 year-old is on our number 10 of the most Ballon d’Or winners with two wins.
Rummenigge started his soccer career with the SV Lippstadt 08 youth academy in 1963.
In 1974, he joined Bayern Munich and immediately showed what a skillful dribbler he was. He enjoyed his greatest success with the club.
From 1974 to 1984, Rummenigge was with the Munich. While playing for the club, he also won back-to-back Ballon d’Or awards in 1980 and 1981. During his career, he also played for Inter Milan and Servette.
In his professional career, Rummenigge won the Intercontinental Cup, two European Cups, and the 1980 European Championship.
In addition to his Ballon d’Or award, he was the European Footballer of the Year twice.
After his career with Servette from 1987 to 1989, Rummenigge retired from a professional playing career. Currently, he serves as a German football executive.
9. Kevin Keegan
On number 9, we have the 73 year-old former English professional player and manager Kevin Keegan.
He won two Ballon d’Or awards during his professional playing career.
Before he made his senior professional debut with Scunthorpe United in 1968, Keegan was part of the youth system of the Enfield House YC and then Scunthorpe United.
His professional career spanned from 1968 to 1985.
After starting his career with United, he played for clubs like Liverpool, Hamburger SV, Southampton, Newcastle United, and Blacktown City. Keegan was also part of the England national team.
After retiring as a professional player, he returned to the sport in 1992 as a manager for Newcastle United.
As a player, Keegan won three First Division titles, UEFA Cup twice, European Cup, and FA Cup.
Aside from winning the Ballon d’Or award twice, Keegan has won the Bundesliga, FWA Footballer of the Year, and PFA Players’ Player of the Year. His managerial career spanned from 1992 to 2008.
Since 2008, Keegan has not been part of any soccer activities. He was capped 63 times for England in his playing career, and for his contribution to the sport, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
8. Alfredo Di Stéfano
Regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, we have former Argentine-born professional player and coach Alfredo Di Stéfano. He was born on July 4, 1926, and played as a forward.
Stéfano began his soccer journey in 1940.
He was part of the Unión Progresista and River Plate youth system between 1940 to 1945. Then in 1945, he made his senior career debut with River Plate.
During his career, Stéfano also played for clubs like Huracán (loan), Millonarios, Real Madrid, and Espanyol.
He enjoyed the most success while playing for Madrid, where he became an integral part of the team.
He was awarded the Ballon d’Or award in 1957 and 1959 as part of the Madrid.
Similarly, he set the then-club record of 216 league goals in 282 games, and his 49 goals in 58 matches were the highest in the European Cup.
Stéfano won numerous awards and made records during his playing career.
Likewise, after transitioning into a coach, he managed many teams from 1967 to 1991. The legendary player passed away at age 88 on July 5, 2014.
The 7th player on our exclusive list of the most Ballon d’Or winners is Ronaldo.
Famously known as O Fenômeno (The Phenomenon) and R9, the retired Brazilian player is considered one of the greatest players of all time.
The 47 year-old Ronaldo has influenced all the new generation of strikers.
He played as a multi-functional striker who helped bring a new dimension to the position.
He was in the São Cristóvão’s youth academy from 1990 to 1993. Then in 1993, Ronaldo made his senior debut with Cruzeiro.
His career spanned from 1993 to 2011, and he played for PSV, Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, AC Milan, and Corinthians.
Similarly, he was also part of the Brazilian national team. Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or award in 1997 at age 21.
To date, he is the youngest recipient of the prestigious French award. He won his second award in 2002.
Ronaldo gathered numerous achievements and accolades during his career.
Consequently, he has been inducted into the Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame, Italian Football Hall of Fame, Inter Milan Hall of Fame, and Real Madrid Hall of Fame.
6. Franz Beckenbauer
Another soccer player with two Ballon d’Or award win is a former German professional player and manager, Franz Beckenbauer.
Now 78 year old, he is one of the greatest and most versatile players in history.
Beginning his soccer journey from the youth academy, Beckenbauer made his senior debut in 1964 with Bayern Munich.
His career spanned from 1964 to 1983, during which he also played for other clubs like New York Cosmo and Hamburger SV.
His significant achievements were while playing for Munich, for whom he played from 1964 to 1977. While playing for the club, Beckenbauer also won his two Ballon d’Or in 1972 and 1976.
Aside from an outstanding playing career and numerous achievements, he is given credit for inventing the role of the modern sweeper (libero.)
After a successful playing career, he transitioned into a managerial career.
Beckenbauer was listed in the FIFA 100 of the World’s Greatest Living Players in 2004.
Likewise, he has been inducted into the US National Soccer Hall of Fame for contributing to the sport.
5. Marco van Basten
The 5th player on our exclusive list for the most Ballon d’Or winners is Marco van Basten.
The 59 year-old Dutch soccer manager is a retired professional player with three Ballon d’Or awards to his name.
Basten had a very brief playing career that spanned from 1981 to 1995.
He was forced to retire at age 28 due to an unfortunate injury. He made his senior debut with Ajax and also played for AC Milan during his career.
Basten had established himself as a spectacular striker in his brief career and was known for his close ball control, attacking skills, and great headers. Similarly, he scored 300 goals in his career.
Basten won his three Ballon d’Or awards in 1988, 1989, and 1992 while he was signed with AC Milan.
In addition to his accolades, he was named 1992 FIFA World Player of the Year and won several other titles and cups.
After his untimely retirement, Basten returned to the soccer world as a manager.
He is regarded as one of the greatest and most complete strikers and players in soccer history for his incredible skills and achievements.
4. Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff is one of the most influential figures in modern soccer and is regarded as one of the greatest players and managers.
He was born on April 25, 1947, and won three Ballon d’Or awards during his playing career.
Starting his youth career with Ajax, Cruyff made his professional senior debut with the club in 1964.
Between 1964 to 1984, he also played for other clubs like Barcelona, Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante, and Feyenoord.
Similarly, he was also part of the Netherlands national team.
He led the national team to the 1974 FIFA World Cup finals, for which Cruyff received the Golden Ball. He won his three Ballon d’Or in 1971, 1973, and 1974.
Likewise, he also won other awards like the Eredivise Top Scorer award Dutch Footballer of the Year, European Cup Top Scorer, and many more.
After becoming a manager, he managed Ajax, Barcelona, and Catalonia.
Unfortunately, the legendary soccer player and manager passed away at age 68 on March 24, 2016.
3. Michel Platini
With three Ballon d’Or awards, we have 68 year-old former French player and manager Michel Platini.
Considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time, he is number 3 on our exclusive list.
Platini won his three Ballon d’Or awards in 1983, 1984, and 1985. He began his soccer journey with AS Jœuf and later Nancy’s youth academy and made his senior debut with Nancy in 1972.
Similarly, he also played for Saint-Étienne and Juventus and was part of the French national team.
Platini was France’s record goal scorer until 2007 and held the record for most goals in the European Championship until 2021.
Likewise, he also played a crucial role in the French national team winning the 1984 European Championship.
After he retired from his professional playing career, Platini became the manager of the French national team.
He managed the national team for four years, from 1988 to 1992. Since then, Platini has not been part of the soccer world.
However, he is undoubtedly one of the most recognized soccer players.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Our exclusive list of the most Ballon d’Or winners would not be complete without Cristiano Ronaldo. The 39 year-old Portuguese player comes second with his five Ballon d’Or wins.
Ronaldo is among the greatest players, with numerous wins and records. He began his career in the youth academy and made his senior debut with Sporting CP B club in 2002.
Since his debut, he has been part of several clubs like Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus.
On August 27, 2021, Ronaldo returned to Manchester United. Similarly, he also plays for the Portugal national team.
In addition to his five Ballon d’Or awards, Ronaldo has won four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player, and 32 trophies.
He holds many different records and is one of the few players with over 1,100 professional career appearances.
Ronaldo is Portugal’s most-capped player, with over 180 caps. He is one of the most marketable and famous athletes in the world.
Consequently, he is also one of the most influential and world’s highest-paid athletes.
1. Lionel Messi
And the player with the most Ballon d’Or awards is nonother than the Argentine professional soccer player Lionel Messi. The 36 year-old forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain, Messi, has won the award a record seven times.
He was part of the Grandoli, Newell’s Old Boys, and Barcelona’s youth system.
Then in 2003, Messi made his senior career debut with the Barcelona C team. Since his debut, he played for Barcelona before leaving the club in 2021.
Messi is known for being a prolific goalscorer and creative playmaker.
He holds several records and has won numerous titles. Likewise, he is also an all-time leading goalscorer in his country.
Messi’s records include the most hat-tricks in La Liga, most international goals by a South American male, most goals by a player for a single club, most assists in La Liga and Copa America, etc.
Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi is one of the most gifted and skillful players in the sport’s history.
Consequently, he is among the world’s most influential and highest-paid athletes.
With this, we conclude our exclusive list of the most Ballon d’Or winners.
If you are a soccer fan, you must have guessed which players were on our list beforehand. And some of the players on our list might have surprised you.
Either way, there is no denying that these players are some of the greatest and most prominent figures in soccer history.
We hope you enjoyed our list. Thank you for reading!