The Ballon d’Or is an annual football award presented by the French news magazine France Football. It is one of the oldest rewards and the whole world regards it as the most prestigious individual award for football players. France Football has been rewarding this award to the best player of the year since 1956. Although fogs still hover around on who will win the Ballon d’Or 2021. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the list of clubs with the most Ballon d’Or wins.
Top 5 Clubs with the most Ballon d’Or winners
5. Bayern Munich – 5
Players Who won the Ballon d’Or with FC Bayern Munich:
Gerd Muller (Germany – 1970)
Franz Beckenbauer (Germany – 1972, 1976)
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany – 1980, 1981)
FC Bayern Munich is widely considered the greatest German club of all time. Certainly, it is of no doubt that Bayern Munich also has the most number of Ballon d’Or winners (5) for a Bundesliga side in history. Probably three of the greatest German Icons Gerd Muller, Franz Beckenbauer and Rummenigge won it for Bayern. Muller was the first one to win the Ballon d’Or in 1970 when he scored 52 goals including 10 in the World Cup. Beckenbauer bagged the awards when he won the domestic title and the Euros with Germany respectively. Rummenigge won the award in two consecutive seasons helping the Bavarians to win back to back Bundesliga titles after scoring 75 goals combined in two seasons.
= 4. AC Milan – 8
Players Who won the Ballon d’Or with AC Milan:
Gianni Rivera (Italy – 1969)
Ruud Gullit (Netherlands – 1987)
Marco van Basten (Netherlands – 1988, 1989, 1992)
George Weah (Liberia – 1995)
Andriy Shevchenko (Ukraine – 2004)
Kaka (Brazil – 2007)
AC Milan was the nightmare for the teams back in the time. Although they might have fallen out of the folds of favourites, they still dominate the chart of the most Ballon d’Or wins producing 8 players who went on to win the award. The first was Gianni Rivera who played a very crucial part in AC Milan’s European championship run and won the award in 1969. However, their cabinet was empty for the next two decades. Till Ruud Gullit came on the back of a tremendous season with PSV which helped him win the award in 1987. Marco van Basten then won the award in consecutive years in 1988 & 1989. He helped Milan win consecutive Champions League titles and scored 40 goals across two campaigns. He then again won it in 1992 for 29 goals in all competitions.
George Weah became the only African player to win this award for his heroics with PSG. Milan’s last Ballon d’Or came in 2007 when the Brazilian Kaka lifted the award. It was also the beginning of the end of a dominating era from AC Milana and after several players retiring and leaving through transfers they fell into a transition period, from which they are still recovering.
= 4. Juventus FC – 8
Players Who won the Ballon d’Or with Juventus:
Omar Sívori (Italy – 1961)
Paolo Rossi (Italy – 1982)
Michel Platini (France – 1983, 1984, 1985)
Roberto Baggio (Italy – 1993)
Zinedine Zidane (France – 1998)
Pavel Nedved (Czech Republic – 2003)
Along with their arch-rivals AC Milan, Juventus also features jointly at number 4 in the list with 8 Ballon d’Ors. Their first-ever winner was the great Omar Sivori in 1961, but the dominance really started in the early 1980s. Juventus players won four consecutive Ballon d’Or’s from 1982-85. While Paolo Rossi winning one for his brilliance in Italy’s World Cup in 1982 before iconic Frenchman Michel Platini won it three times in a row. Platini helped Juve bag two Scudettos and a European title with averaging 25 goals per season from the midfield at the same time. Baggio and Zidane won one each for their heroic performances with club and country. However, Nedved remains the last Ballon d’Or winner from Juve back in 2003 for his majestic performances as a left midfielder.
2. Real Madrid C.F. – 11
Players Who won the Ballon d’Or with Real Madrid:
Alfredo Di Stefano (Spain – 1957, 1959)
Raymond Kopa (France – 1958)
Luis Figo (Portugal – 2000)
Ronaldo (Brazil – 2002)
Fabio Cannavaro (Italy – 2006)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal – 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
Luka Modric (Croatia – 2018)
Arguably the greatest football club in the world surprisingly isn’t on the top of the list. 7 of their past players managed to win 11 titles among them and no doubt the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo boosted them to second place in the list. Three out of the first four Ballon d’Or titles were won by Madrid players, including two by iconic striker Alfredo Di Stefano and one by midfielder Raymond Kopa. However, the next three Ballon d’Or came nearly four and half decades later, but in quick succession. When Figo, the Brazilian Ronaldo and Cannavaro bagged 1 award each within a span of just 6 years.
However, then came the golden phase for the Los Blancos, with the arrival of Cristiano things changed drastically when he won 4 Ballon d’Ors just in the space of 5 years. On the other hand, in 2018 Luka Modric’s great run with Croatia in the World Cup helped him win the Ballon d’Or and denied Ronaldo of the award which could have been his fifth.
1. FC Barcelona – 12
Players Who won the Ballon d’Or with FC Barcelona:
Luis Suárez (Spain – 1960)
Johan Cruyff (Netherlands – 1973*, 1974)
Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria – 1994)
Rivaldo (Brazil – 1999)
Ronaldinho (Brazil – 2005)
Lionel Messi (Argentina – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019)
Piping just over their rivals as the club with the most Ballon d’Or winners in history is FC Barcelona. They have six winners with 12 trophies won in total. The first one came when Uruguayan legend Luis Suarez won it in 1960 after helping Barca win the La Liga and outplaying everyone in the campaign. Johan Cruyff won it consecutively in 1973 and 1974 when he produced some of the best football the club has ever played and helped them win the league in 1973-74. The next award came two decades later in the form of the Bulgarian winger Hristo Stoichkov who scored 24 goals and helped Barcelona win the league. The next two trophies were won by two of the greatest Brazilian legends, Rivaldo in 2005 and the magician Ronaldinho in 2005.
Then came the Argentina midget Leo Messi in the team who will further go on to change football’s definition once and for all. Messi won the award 4 times in a row from 2009-12 with immense contributions towards the club which could barely be described in words. Messi then went to win his fifth in the 2014-15 season and became the only player in history to win the coveted award for the sixth time in 2019. He is now making a strong case for the Ballon d’Or 2021 and might as well win his seventh.