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European Footballers of The Year since 1956


A list of European Footballers of The Year since 1956. The award is known as the Ballon d'Or and was originally conceived by France Football's chief magazine writer Gabriel Hanot, who asked his colleagues to vote for the player of the year in Europe in 1956.

Originally, journalists could only vote for European players at European clubs, meaning that players like Diego Maradona and Pelé were ineligible for the award. In 1995, there was a change in the rules to allow non-European players to be eligible for the award if they played for a European club. The first non-European to win after the rule change was Milan's George Weah in the same year. The rules were changed again in 2007 so that players of any nationality and from any club around the world could be eligible for the award. As a result, the number of journalists allowed to vote also increased; 96 journalists from around the world chose their top five players, as opposed to the 52 Europe based journalists in 2006.

As of 2010, three players had won the award three times each: Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten.

Stats Table: 
1956Stanley MatthewsBlackpool
1957Alfredo di StefanoReal Madrid
1958Raymond KopaReal Madrid
1959Alfredo di StefanoReal Madrid
1960Luis SuarezBarcelona
1961Omar SivoriJuventus
1962Josef MasopustDukla Prague
1963Lev YashinDynamo Moscow
1964Denis LawManchester United
1966Bobby CharltonManchester United
1967Florian AlbertFerencvaros
1968George BestManchester United
1969Gianni RiveraAC Milan
1970Gerd MullerBayern Munich
1971Johann CruyffAjax
1972Franz BeckenbauerBayern Munich
1973Johann CruyffAjax
1974Johann CruyffAjax
1975Oleg BlokhinDynamo Kiev
1976Franz BeckenbauerBayern Munich
1977Alan SimonsenBorussia Moenchengladbach
1978Kevin KeeganHamburg SV
1979Kevin KeeganHamburg SV
1980Karl-Heinz RumeniggeBayern Munich
1981Karl-Heinz RumeniggeBayern Munich
1982Paolo RossiJuventus
1983Michel PlatiniJuventus
1984Michel PlatiniJuventus
1985Michel PlatiniJuventus
1986Igor BelanovDynamo Kiev
1987Ruud GullitAC Milan
1988Marco Van BastenAC Milan
1989Marco Van BastenAC Milan
1990Lothar MatthausInternazionale
1991Jean-Pierre PapinOlympique de Marseille
1992Marco Van BastenAC Milan
1993Roberto BaggioJuventus
1994Hristo StoichkovBarcelona
1995George WeahAC Milan
1996Matthias SammerBorussia Dortmund
1998Zinedine ZidaneJuventus
2000Luis FigoReal Madrid
2001Michael OwenLiverpool
2002RonaldoReal Madrid
2003Pavel NedvedJuventus
2004Andriy ShevchenkoAC Milan
2006Fabio CannavaroReal Madrid
2007KakáAC Milan
2008Cristiano RonaldoManchester Utd
2009Lionel MessiBarcelona

Cristiano Ronaldo 2008


If you check your facts again, you'll see that Cristiano Ronaldo was playing for Manchester United, both in the year leading to the award and at the time of receiving the award.  he didn't move till Summer 2009!

Obviously a Liverpool supporter created this list and trying to change history!

Ronaldo was at Man Utd

Sorry about that anonymous. I have now edited the list to reflect Cristiano Ronaldo's "Manchester Unitedness" for the award. It was an honest mistake guv and no Liverpool affiliations were meant by it!

Thanks for the correction.