Ballon d’Or 2021: Every winner from Stanley Matthews and George Best to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

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  • FC Bayern München
    FC Bayern München
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  • Manchester United
    Manchester United
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  • Lionel Messi
    Lionel Messi
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  • Cristiano Ronaldo
    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Portuguese association football player
  • Alfredo Di Stéfano
    Argentine association football player and coach (1926-2014)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lionel Messi was favourite to pick up the Ballon d’Or for what was a record seventh time as he again claimed football’s highest individual honour.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward won a first international title with Argentina in the summer with the Copa America and was also La Liga top goalscorer with former club Barcelona.

Robert Lewandowski was widely expected to win last year’s award before it was cancelled due to the pandemic, and the Bayern Munich striker was in the running once again, ultimately claiming the new Striker of the Year award.

LIVE: Follow live coverage of 2021 Ballon d’Or ceremony

Chelsea’s Jorginho was another candidate, having won the Champions League with his club and Euro 2020 with his country Italy a couple of months later.

The honour is awarded by French magazine France Football and is decided by a jury of journalists. It has been awarded ever since 1956 although between 2010 and 2015 was merged with Fifa’s World Player of the Year prize.

Here is a list of every men’s Ballon d’Or winner:

1956: Stanley Matthews (Blackpool)

1957: Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)

1958: Raymond Kopa (Real Madrid)

1959: Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)

1960: Luis Suarez (Barcelona)

1961: Omar Sivori (Juventus)

1962: Josef Masopust (Dukla Prague)

1963: Lev Yashin (Dynamo Moscow)

1964: Denis Law (Manchester United)

1965: Eusebio (Benfica)

1966: Bobby Charlton (Manchester United)

1967: Florian Albert (Ferencvaros)

1968: George Best (Manchester United)

1969: Gianni Rivera (AC Milan)

1970: Gerd Muller (Bayern Munich)

1971: Johan Cruyff (Ajax)

1972: Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich)

1973: Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)

1974: Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)

1975: Oleg Blokhin (Dynamo Kyiv)

1976: Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich)

1977: Allan Simonsen (Borussia Monchengladbach)

1978: Kevin Keegan (Hamburg)

1979: Kevin Keegan (Hamburg)

1980: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich)

1981: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich)

1982: Paolo Rossi (Juventus)

1983: Michel Platini (Juventus)

1984: Michel Platini (Juventus)

1985: Michel Platini (Juventus)

1986: Igor Belanov (Dynamo Kyiv)

1987: Ruud Gullit (AC Milan)

1988: Marco van Basten (AC Milan)

1989: Marco van Basten (AC Milan)

1990: Lothar Matthaus (Internazionale)

1991: Jean-Pierre Papin (Marseille)

1992: Marco van Basten (AC Milan)

1993: Roberto Baggio (Juventus)

1994: Hristo Stoichkov (Barcelona)

1995: George Weah (AC Milan)

1996: Matthias Sammer (Borussia Dortmund)

1997: Ronaldo (Internazionale)

1998: Zinedine Zidane (Juventus)

1999: Rivaldo (Barcelona)

2000: Luis Figo (Real Madrid)

2001: Michael Owen (Liverpool)

2002: Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

2003: Pavel Nedved (Juventus)

2004: Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)

2005: Ronaldinho (Barcelona)

2006: Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid)

2007: Kaka (Milan)

2008: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

2009: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

2010: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

2011: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

2012: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

2013: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

2014: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

2015: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

2016: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

2017: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

2018: Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

2019: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

2020: Cancelled

2021: Lionel Messi (PSG)

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