The Frenchman became the only second player aside from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to win the award since 2008. Benzema’s Real Madrid team-mate Luka Modric won the prize in 2018. Benzema was presented with the first Ballon d’Or at a lavish ceremony at Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France.
What Is Ballon d’Or? Why Is This Award So Prestigious?
The Ballon d’Or (Golden Ball) was an annual association football award presented to the world’s best men’s player from 2010 to 2015. Awarded jointly by FIFA and France Football, the prize was a unification of the World Player of the Year award and the Ballon d’Or,- the two most prestigious individual honors in the world of football.
History of the Award
The Ballon d’Or, organized by the France Football magazine is awarded annually to the world’s best footballer who was cut above the rest and stood out with their impeccable performances over the previous year.
Instituted in 1956, the Ballon d’Or award was initially considered the European Footballer of the Year award as it was only open to European players at European clubs.
However, the rules for eligible winners of the Ballon d’Or award were amended when AC Milan’s George Weah became the first non-European Ballon d’Or winner in 1995.
Since 2007, the eligibility to win the Ballon d’Or award has been expanded to all players coming from different continents or countries.
Between 2010 and 2015, the France Football magazine and FIFA formed a partnership where the Ballon d’Or would unify with the FIFA World Player of the Year award to be known or named officially as the FIFA Ballon d’Or.
In 2018, the France Football magazine has also introduced the Ballon d’Or Feminine award for the best woman football player in the world.
Due to the disruption in the sports industry in 2020 caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there was no award given in 2020.
However, the most recent winner is Lionel Messi in 2021. Messi has won the men’s Ballon d’Or award seven times while Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award five times.
People Who Got Ballon d’Or
2022 Karim Benzemais France Real Madrid
2021 Lionel Messi Argentina Paris Saint-Germain F.C.
2019 Lionel Messi Argentina Barcelona
2018 Luka Modric Croatia Real Madrid
2017 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Real Madrid
2016 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Real Madrid
2015 Lionel Messi Argentina Barcelona
2014 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Real Madrid
2013 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Real Madrid
2012 Lionel Messi Argentina Barcelona
2011 Lionel Messi Argentina Barcelona
2010 Lionel Messi Argentina Barcelona
2009 Lionel Messi Argentina Barcelona
2008 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal Manchester United
2007 Kaká Brazil Milan
2006 Fabio Cannavaro Italy Real Madrid
2005 Ronaldinho Brazil Barcelona
2004 Andriy Shevchenko Ukrain Milan
2003 Pavel Nedvěd Czechia Juventus
2002 Ronaldo Brazil Real Madrid
2001 Michael Owen England Liverpool
2000 Luís Figo Portugal Real Madrid
1999 Rivaldo Brazil Barcelona
1998 Zinedine Zidane France Juventus
1997 Ronaldo Brazil Internazionale
1996 Matthias Sammer Germany Borussia Dortmund
1995 George Weah Liberia Milan
1994 Hristo Stoichkov Bulgaria Barcelona
1993 Roberto Baggio Italy Juventus
1992 Marco van Basten Netherlands Milan
1991 Jean-Pierre Papin France Marseille
1990 Lothar Matthäus Germany Internazionale
1989 Marco van Basten Netherlands Milan
1988 Marco van Basten Netherlands Milan
1987 Ruud Gullit Netherlands Milan
1986 Igor Belanov Soviet Union Dynamo Kyiv
1985 Michel Platini France Juventus
1984 Michel Platini France Juventus
1983 Michel Platini France Juventus
1982 Paolo Rossi Italy Juventus
1981 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge West Germany Bayern Munich
1980 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge West Germany Bayern Munich
1979 Kevin Keegan England Hamburg
1978 Kevin Keegan England Hamburg
1977 Allan Simonsen Denmark Borussia M”nchengladbach
1976 Franz Beckenbauer West Germany Bayern Munich
1975 Oleg Blokhin Soviet Union Dynamo Kyiv
1974 Johan Cruyff Netherlands Barcelona
1973 Johan Cruyff Netherlands Barcelona
1972 Franz Beckenbauer West Germany Bayern Munich
1971 Johan Cruyff Netherlands Ajax
1970 Gerd Müller West Germany Bayern Munich
1969 Gianni Rivera Italy Milan
1968 George Best Northern Ireland Manchester United
1967 Flórián Albert Hungary Ferencv rosi TC
1966 Bobby Charlton England Manchester United
1965 Eusébio Portugal Benfica
1964 Denis Law Scotland Manchester United
1963 Lev Yashin Soviet Union Dynamo Moscow
1962 Josef Masopust Czechoslovakia Dukla Prague
1961 Omar Sívori Italy Juventus
1960 Luis Suárez Spain Barcelona
1959 Alfredo Di Stéfano Spain Real Madrid
1958 Raymond Kopa France Real Madrid
1957 Alfredo Di Stéfano Spain Real Madrid
1956 Stanley Matthews England Blackpool
Overall, 30 nominees for the 2022 Ballon d’Or award were announced in August. Seven-time winner Lionel Messi was not on the list (for the first time since 2005), though Ronaldo did cut. The ceremony announcing the winners was held on October 17 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Madrid’s Karim Benzema has emerged as the winner.