Definition of Ballon d'Or

What is the "Ballon d'Or"? What is the definition of the term "Ballon d'Or"?

The "Ballon d'Or", which translates into "Golden Ball", is an annual award that is presented by France Football Magazine to the male football player who is regarded to be the very best in the world.

The scope of the "Ballon d'Or" has expanded over the years - originally, it was awarded to European players only.

Ballon Dor in the hands of Messi, who is standing next to Xavi and Iniesta.  The good old Barcelona FC days.

In 1995, the award was expanded to include all European club players - in 2007, the award was finally expanded to include all players across the world.

The very first "Ballon d'Or" was awarded to Stanley Matthews of Blackpool in 1955.

The most recent, 2022 award went to Karim Benzema, with the runner up being Sadio Mane.

The 2019 and 2021 awards went to Lionel Messi, while the 2020 award was cancelled due to the pandemic.

In 2018, the award was given to Luka Modric of Real Madrid, with Cristiano Ronaldo finishing second.

Lionel Messi has won the "Ballon d'Or" award seven times and Cristiano Ronaldo five times.

The last time, prior to year 2018, that somebody not named Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo won was in 2007, when Kaka of AC Milan took home the award. Cristiano Ronaldo, who played at Manchester United at the time, finished in second place.


The "Ballon d'Or" is the most prestigious individual award in all of football.