The Ballon d’Or is a prestigious annual award awarded by the French magazine France Football that is widely regarded as the summit of individual honors in the world of football.

This exclusive honor was established in 1956 and has been presented for decades. Stanley Matthews of England was the first recipient of this distinguished prize.

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Lionel Messi and his long-time opponent Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the men’s category of this historic award over the previous 15 years, with a combined total of 13 titles. Messi won his first Ballon d’Or 14 years ago when he was only five years into his legendary senior professional career.

The Ballon d’Or is a renowned award given yearly to the male player who has delivered the most remarkable performance in the previous year, as chosen by votes by football journalists. From 1956 to 2006, the prize was designated solely for European players. However, it has been available to players from all over the world since 2007.

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Each year, the Ballon d’Or is presented at a big gala ceremony held in Paris. This event attracts some of football’s most notable figures and is regarded as one of the most important events on the football calendar.

Lionel Messi holds the record for being the most successful Ballon d’Or winner, having won the award an incredible seven times. Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five awards to his name, is close behind. Other famous honorees include Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten.

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The Ballon d’Or is the greatest achievement for any footballer, recognizing their outstanding individual prowess and establishing their status as one of the world’s best players.

Aside from the Ballon d’Or for men, there are further awards for the best women’s player, the most promising young player, and the best goalie. These awards are also given out during the annual Ballon d’Or gala presentation.