Originally, it was an award only for players from Europe and widely known as the European Footballer of the Year award.
The Ballon d'Or was introduced in 1956 (65 years ago) in France.
In 1995, the Ballon d'Or was expanded to include all players from any origin that have been active at European clubs.The award became a global prize in 2007 with all professional footballers from around the world being eligible. Meanwhile coaches and captains of national teams were also given the right to vote in the ballon d'Or from 2007, earlier on it was vote by football journalists.
SOME KEY MOMENTS OF THE BALLON D'OR
#1. LIONEL MESSI
Lionel Messi, the Agentine, is the only player to have won the award for a six time, the most Ballons d'Or winner in history.
Leo is also the current holder of the award (ballon d'Or). He is also the first and only player to have won the award four times on a roll after he won for the first time in 2009, winning 2009 to 2012. He together with Cristiano Ronaldo have been nominated for the awards 12 times, all time most nominated players.
Leo is the most dominated player in the ballon d'Or history.
#2. MICHEL PLATINI
Michel Platini, is a French Striker who ayed for clubs like Nancy, Saint-Étienne and Juventus and scored a total of 224 goals in 433 appearances. He is the first player to have won the award(ballon d'Or) three times in succession.
#3. GEORGE WEAH
George Weah was the first non-European player to win the award.
Weah had played for Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain, A.C. Milan, Chelsea (loan), Manchester City and Marseille in his senior career. He scored 194 goals in 413 appearances
#4 LEV YAAHIN
Lev Yashin, the Russian, is the only goalkeeper to win the award in 1963. He is regarded by many as the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the football.
According to FIFA, Yashin saved over 150 penalty kicks in professional football, more than any other goalkeeper and He also kept over 270 clean sheets in his career
#5 CRISTIANO RONALDO
Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese striker, is only second in line to Messi, winning the ballon d'Or 5 times.
He is also the only player to have won three different league titles with three different teams in three different leagues. He has also been the only player to have won the golden boot with three different clubs.
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