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Top 5 greatest Ballon d’Or winners of the Twenty-first-Century

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Greatest Ballon d'Or winners in the 21st Century

Top 5 greatest Ballon d’Or winners of the Twenty-first-Century.

In a sport where team achievements take center stage, it’s worth noting that some people have put in consistent performances throughout the year to on the list of Ballon d’Or winners.

There have been eleven Ballon d’Or award wins between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with 6 and 5 times respectively.

Messi and Ronaldo have been completely dominant in the last 20 years, though there have been other great winners of the award within that time. We take a good look at the five greatest Ballon d’Or winners of the 21st century.

5. Ronaldo Nazario (2002 Ballon d’Or winner)

Ronaldo Nazario

Ronaldo Nazario remains one of the most talented strikers to ever play the beautiful. He was gifted with speed, technical ability, and dribbling skills that come with any Brazilian striker.

His first Ballon d’Or was in 1997, but it was the second, that reminded the world how good he was. In the 2001/02 season, Ronaldo’s career was hampered by injury leading to a poor season, that didn’t deter Ronaldo from having an outstanding World Cup with Brazil, with eight goals in the tournament, including two in the final against Germany, gearing his team to win the world cup trophy.

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Ronaldo then moved to Real Madrid at the start of the 2002/03 season and recorded 30 goals in 44 games for the Spanish giants in his debut campaign. Ronaldo was instrumental as he helped Los Blancos secure La Liga, UEFA Super Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup. That was enough to earn him his second Ballon d’Or in 2002.

 

4. Ronaldinho (2005 Ballon d’Or winner)

Ronaldinho was a two times Ballon D'or winner

Ronaldinho remains One of the most skilled players to ever grace this beautiful game, it almost seemed like the world stopped doing everything else to enjoy Ronaldinho when he was at his peak.

In the 2004/05 season, the midfielder helped the Blaugrana end their six-year wait for a La Liga title. Ronaldinho finished his campaign at the club with 13 goals and 16 assists in 42 games and Barça finished at the top of the top flight, four points ahead of Real Madrid.

Ronaldinho then played a starring role in the 2005 Confederations Cup, scoring three goals and providing an assist when Brazil won the title. His incredible performances for the club and country earned Ronaldinho his first and only Ballon d’Or in 2005.

 

3. Kaka (2007 Ballon d’Or winner)

Richard Kaka

Kaká won the prestigious award during his illustrious time with AC Milan.
kaka’s time at Milan was simply fantastic individually and wholly, as Milan flourished during Kaka’s first six years.

However, it was in the Champions League that the Italian giants stood out, with Kaka playing a significant role. The midfielder scored 10 Champions League goals as Milan raced to the finals.
Kaka’s brilliance, and AC Milan’s Champions League triumph, was enough to earn the Brazilian the 2007 Ballon door ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

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2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Five-time Ballon d’Or winner)

Cristiano Robaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or in 2008, having finished second a year before. The Portuguese were in sensational form for Manchester United, with 42 goals and eight assists in 49 games. His performance helped United clinch the Premier League and the Champions League.

It took Ronaldo another four years to win the award that had been dominated by Lionel Messi. Ronaldo was named the 2013 Ballon dwinneriner thanks to another stellar season with Real Madrid. Ronaldo scored 55 goals in 55 games to win the Ballon d’Or ahead of Messi and Frank Ribéry.

However, Ronaldo’s 2014 Ballon d’Or victory was not questioned. Real Madrid secured the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, with their Superstar netting 51 goals in all competitions. Impressively 17 of those goals were scored in the Champions League, a record that remains to date.

Ronaldo then won the Ballon d’Or again in 2016 and 2017 after winning the Champions League in both seasons. With the Portuguese scoring 93 goals in the two years. Real Madrid also secured the La Liga title in 2017, further propelling Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or that year. He has not won the prestigious award since then, Can his return to Manchester United this summer propel him to win it again?

 

1. Lionel Messi (Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner)

Lionel Messi with the Ballon d'Or

Messi’s first Ballon d’Or came in the year 2009. He played a key role in the Barcelona team, ​​the Argentine scored 38 goals and 19 assists for Guardiola’s side as they won the treble.

In 2010 the Catalans won the UEFA Super Cup, the Club World Cup, and the Spanish Super Cup, and Messi netting 47 goals and 12 assists saw him controversially win the award ahead of Barcelona teammate Andrés Iniesta, who won the World Cup with Spain, and Inter Milan Wesley Sneijder.

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Barcelona won their second Champions League trophy in three years by claiming the trophy in 2011. Guardiola’s team also secured the League, with Messi contributing 53 goals and 25 assists throughout the campaign to earn him a third Ballon d’Or.

This was followed by a record campaign, with Messi scoring 91 goals in 2012. Barcelona lost the League to Real Madrid and the semi-finals of the Champions League to Chelsea, winning only the Copa del Rey. However, Messi’s staggering individual numbers were deemed enough to win his fourth Ballon d’Or in a row.

During the 2014/15 campaign. Barcelona won the treble for the second time, with Messi scoring 58 goals and assisting 31 more in 57 games alongside Neymar and Luis Suarez.

Messi’s brilliance was on display once again during the 2018-19 campaign. The Argentine led the Blaugrana almost single handily to the top of the triplet before they collapsed and took the league title. However, Messi’s 51 goals and 22 assists earned him his record sixth Ballon d’Or in December 2019.

France Football have for the seventh time  named Lionel Messi as the 2021 Ballon d’or winner ahead of Bayern Munich Robert Lewandiwski and Chelsea’s Jorginho as he adds to his stacked trophy cabinet.

 

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