Every Ballon d'Or winner: A complete list of every men's player to have won the award

Ballon d'Or: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona holds up the FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club de Bilbao at Camp Nou on January 17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.
(Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

The Ballon d'Or is the most prestigious individual accolade in the world of football. Ever since its inception in 1956, the gong – conceived by France Football – has been a yardstick for the great and the good in the beautiful game. 

The favourites for the BDO remain constant in the modern age but over the course of nearly 70 years, there have been shock winners and intriguing entries on the list. And while Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both top the chart for most triumphs of the golden ball, the complete catalogue of champions reads like a galaxy of the elite.

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Mark White
Content Editor

Mark White has been at on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, first as a staff writer before becoming content editor in 2023. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also represented FFT at both FA Cup and League Cup finals (though didn't receive a winners' medal on either occasion) and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He has written cover features for the mag on Mikel Arteta and Martin Odegaard, and is assisted by his cat, Rosie, who has interned for the brand since lockdown.

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