Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may have 11 Ballon d’Or‘s between them, but this top players couldn’t even win one. These legends for club and country were cruelly robbed of the best player prize in football during their illustrious careers.
Great players such as Arsenal legend Henry, England ’66 hero Moore, and Kenny Dalglish and many others lost out
And in the wake of Sergio Aguero revealing he wanted to stay at Man City and win the Ballon d’Or, we thought we’d give you our take on the best players who never managed to win the coveted trophy.
Some you may know, some may be a surprise, while others you could argue were cheated out of it.
He’s been called the best defender to have ever played the game.
As capable at centre half as he was at left back, where he began his career, the AC Milan icon won 25 trophies, including seven Serie A titles and the Champions League five times.
But for all his brilliance, he was often overshadowed by his more glamorous team-mates like Andriy Shevchenko, Kaka, George Weah, Marco Van Basten and Ruud Gullit, who were all recipients of the Ballon d’Or ball.
Best it got for him was third place in 1994 and 2003.
No technicalities here, Puskas – who scored 84 goals in 85 games for Hungary and 622 club goals in his career – failed to win the Ballon d’Or – despite his greatness.
The Real Madrid legend won five La Liga titles and the Champions League three times. But he had to watch as his team-mate Alfredo Di Stefano claimed all the honours – winning the award twice.
Puskas managed to finish runner-up in 1960, but he could be thought of as the best never to win it, who was eligible.
French striker and former Barcelona star between 2001-06, the former Arsenal forward was at the peak of his powers.
Not only was he Premier League top scorer in four of those five seasons, he netted 29 goals in 52 Champions League games during that time – a competition in which a players’ worth is measured on the world stage.
But for some reason, despite unplayable performances – including decimating Inter Milan at the San Siro, the best he could finish was runner-up in the Ballon d’Or ratings.
In 2003, he finished behind Pavel Nedved. Surely that’s not right?
The Scottish forward was one of the best players to come from these shores.
Bought from Celtic in 1977 to replace Kevin Keegan, who a year later DID win the Ballon d’Or at Hamburg, Dalglish was dealt a tough order.
But ‘King Kenny’ took it in his stride – scoring 31 goals in his first season, and following that up with 25 strikes the following year.
His brilliant performances led Liverpool to three European Cup wins in 1978, 1981, and 1984. In the 1983 Ballon d’Or race he was runner-up to Michel Platini.
The heartbeat of Barcelona’s tiki-taka style, the Spanish midfielder played 767 times for the Catalans.
And in that time he was showered with awards – and was included in the UEFA Team of the Year five times in a row between 2008-12.
But the Ballon d’Or evaded him, even when he helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup – recording an astonishing 91 per cent pass completion rate in the tournament. Xavi finished third three years in a row between 2009-11.
The most decorated player in Spanish football history with 35 trophies, including nine La Liga titles and four Champions League’s.
He was an instrumental in Barcelona’s historic treble-winning seasons in 2009 and 2015. Iniesta also scored the winning goal against the Netherlands in 2010 World Cup final.
Despite all those wonderful achievements, Iniesta was at best a runner-up in 2010, fourth place in 2011, and third-place in 2012… at least he was consistent.
Source: The Sun