The French magazine ‘France Football’ has awarded the Ballon d’Or since 1956. Originally, it was an award only for players from Europe and most people outside France called it the ‘European Player of the Year’ award. But in 1995 it was expanded to include all players from any countries that have been active in European clubs. And from 2007 all professional footballers from around the world were eligible to be nominated for the award.
2020 will be without an official award. But that won’t stop us. We still want to celebrate the best players in the world. But it can be very difficult to single one out as the best player of 2020. So that’s why, we want you to pick the best player with us. But first, let’s take a look through history and point out some of the most iconic winners. And afterwards, we can talk about who should win in 2020:
George Weah - Ballon d’Or winner in 1995
From Liberia, he was the first non-European player to win the award. He’s still the only African player to have won this award. He played in AC Milan at the time he won. Known for his speed and dribbling skills, he is regarded as one of the best players never to have played at the World Cup. After his career he has taken a different path in life and is now the President of Liberia!
Ronaldo - winner in 1997 & 2002
We can sum it up pretty quickly with this guy. He has won the award two times - one while playing for Inter and one while playing for Real Madrid. Top scorer at the 2002 World Cup, where Brazil won the championship. Considered as one of the greatest ever. Many knee injuries ruined a lot of his career, but he will always be remembered as a phenomenon on the pitch - hence his nickname ‘O Fenômeno’. A true gem for the football world.
Zinedine Zidane - winner in 1998
1998 was his World Cup when he led France to victory - including two goals in the final against Brazil. There was never a doubt about the award winner this year. No literally - there was NEVER any doubt, as Zidane got two times as many votes as the runner up. We don’t need to put too many words on Zizou. He could control a game on his own from the midfield and he could drible, pass, shoot and take charge of every team - through his whole career.
Ronaldinho - winner in 2005
What a player. 2005 was Ronaldinho’s year. He will always be an icon for every football fan. Every time he entered the pitch, it looked like he was playing in his backyard. Always smiling, always trying to do tricks and always trying to create beautiful moments - for all of us to enjoy. And we did. Unfortunately it didn’t last long, but he hypnotized a whole world and made many young children fall in love with football. Thanks, R10!
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