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Ballon d’Or: which players have won it the most?

Ten men’s players have won multiple Ballons d’Or, but no woman has yet managed to claim the award more than once.

Ten men’s players have won multiple Ballons d’Or, but no woman has yet managed to claim the award more than once.
Kristy SparowGetty Images

Lionel Messi is the most decorated player in the history of the Men’s Ballon d’Or, having received the award seven times - but he won’t make it eight in 2022.

The Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina forward won his seventh Ballon d’Or last year, having previously picked up the accolade in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019.

However, after scoring just 11 times in an underwhelming first season at PSG, Messi is not on the 30-man shortlist for the latest edition of the world-player-of-the-year prize, which will be handed out at Monday’s awards ceremony in Paris.

It’s the first time since 2005 that the former Barcelona star, 35, hasn’t been nominated for the Ballon d’Or.

2022 Ballon d’Or gala: live

Ronaldo a five-time Ballon d’Or winner

After Messi, the second-most frequent winner of the Men’s Ballon d’Or is Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scooped the prize five times: in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

In recent years, Messi and Ronaldo’s domination of the award has been such that only one other player - Luka Modric in 2018 - has won it since Kaká in 2007.

This year, however, that number seems likely to rise to two. With Messi already out of the running, Ronaldo is on the shortlist but is not expected to add to his Ballon d’Or haul on this occasion.

Men’s Ballon d’Or: the 10 multiple winners

  • 7 - Lionel Messi (Argentina): 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021
  • 5 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017
  • 3 - Michel Platini (France): 1983, 1984, 1985
  • 3 - Johan Cruyff (Netherlands): 1971, 1973, 1974
  • 3 - Marco van Basten (Netherlands): 1988, 1989, 1992
  • 2 - Franz Beckenbauer (Germany):1972, 1976
  • 2 - Ronaldo (Brazil): 1997, 2002
  • 2 - Alfredo di Stéfano (Argentina/Spain/Colombia): 1957, 1959
  • 2 - Kevin Keegan (England): 1978, 1979
  • 2 - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany): 1980, 1981

See also:

Hegerberg, Rapinoe and Putellas the only women’s winners so far

At the 2021 gala, the Women’s Ballon d’Or was awarded for only the third time, Barcelona and Spain’s Alexia Putellas collecting the prize.

In 2018, its inaugural year, the Women’s Ballon d’Or went to Ada Hegerberg of Lyon and Norway, before OL Reign and the United States’ Megan Rapinoe became its second recipient in 2019.

Putellas and Hegerberg are both on the 20-player shortlist for the 2022 award.

Women’s Ballon d’Or winners so far

  • 2018: Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
  • 2019: Megan Rapinoe (United States)
  • 2020: Award cancelled due to covid-19 pandemic
  • 2021: Alexia Putellas (Spain)