Ballon d’Or Award Winners Since Year 2000

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    Lionel Messi was announced the winner of the 2023 Ballon d’Or on October 30, 2023, making him the highest recipient of the award of all time.

    Messi took home the award for the 8th time in his career, reaching an unprecedented feat in the award’s history.

    However, let’s cast your mind back to the winners of the Ballon d’Or since 2000, a list that houses star names across board.

    Who won the Ballon d’Or award in 2000

    Luis Figo won the award for year 2000, following a magnificent season with Barcelona, where he scored 14 goals and provided 16 assists in 51 appearances.

    Micheal Owen won the award for the 2001 edition, whilst playing for Liverpool, and he scored 24 goals and provided 8 assists in 46 club appearances.

    Ronaldo De Lima was the recipient of the 2002 edition, having had a victorious World Cup outing with Brazil in 2002.

    Ballon d'Or award winners
    De Lima won the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2002 Ballon d’Or

    Ronaldo scored 7 goals and provided 2 assists in 16 appearances during the 2001/02 season, but at the FIFA World Cup with Brazil, he shone like a million stars.

    The former Real Madrid striker scored 8 goals in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, an amazing feat hit by the Brazilian.

    In 2003, Pavel Nedved won the Ballon d’Or, becoming the second player from Czech Republic to do so, after Josef Masopust, who won it in 1962.

    Andriy Shevchenko was handed the award in 2004 before Ronaldinho Gaucho took home the prestigious individual honor in 2005.

    Fabio Cannavaro became the third defender to win the Ballon d’Or after Frank Beckenbaur and Mathias Sammer won it in 1972 and 1996 respectively.

    Who won the Ballon d’Or before the Ronaldo-Messi duopoly that lasted for 10 years?

    In 2006, Kaka became the last winner of the award before the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

    Ballon d'Or award winners
    Kaka was the last player to win the Ballon d’Or before the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly

    Ronaldo won it in 2008, after an amazing season with Manchester United that saw him win an unconventional treble.

    He assisted Manchester United in winning the Community Shield, FIFA Club World Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Premier League.

    After Cristiano Ronaldo won the crown, Lionel Messi won it four times successively, winning it in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

    Was the 2010 Ballon d’Or award controversial?

    The 2010 edition has gone down to be the most controversial of the awards Messi won, as it has been a reference point for future awards being held, like the 2023 Ballon d’Or award.

    In 2010, the 36-year-old beat Wesley Sneijder and teammate Andres Iniesta to win the Ballon d’Or and it raised a lot of eyebrows.

    Many were wondering why the Argentine won the award over Sneijder, who won the treble – Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League and made it to the final of the FIFA World Cup with the Netherlands.

    Teammate Andres Iniesta won the La Liga, Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, in like manner as Lionel Messi and he won the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Spain.

    However, Lionel Messi’s 47 goals and 12 assists in 53 matches was enough for him to win the Ballon d’Or over fellow competitors for the prize, and the decision was a shocking one to many across the globe.

    Particularly bearing in mind, the influence that winning the FIFA World Cup had in previous years in swaying who wins the Ballon d’Or award.

    Messi ended the year 2012 with 91 calendar goals, and rightly so, the award didn’t generate much controversy.

    Ballon d'Or award winners
    Cristiano Ronaldo has won 5 Ballon d’Or titles in his career

    Cristiano Ronaldo returned to win the award in back-to-back fashion in 2013 and 2014, with the latter, also being a hugely contentious one.

    The duopoly also became evident in 2015, with Lionel Messi going home with the Ballon d’Or.

    Ronaldo came back to take the 2016 and 2017 editions, before Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, after an impressive year for club and country.

    He won the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, and Supercopa de España with Real Madrid in the 2017/18 season.

    Ballon d'Or award winners
    Lionel Messi wins the 2023 Ballon d’Or award

    Lionel Messi was awarded the Ballon d’Or in 2019, while in 2020, the award ceremony wasn’t held due to COVID-19.

    The award ceremony was held in 2021, and Lionel Messi also came back to take the crown. In 2022, Karim Benzema achieved a lifetime ambition by winning the Ballon d’Or, before Messi came back again to reclaim the throne in 2023.

    Ballon d’Or award winners since 2000

    2000 – Luis Figo

    2001 – Micheal Owen

    2002 – Ronaldo De Lima

    2003 – Pavel Nedved

    2004 – Andriy Shevchenko

    2005 – Ronaldinho Gaucho

    2006 – Fabio Cannavaro

    2007 – Ricardo Kaka

    2008 – Cristiano Ronaldo

    2009 – Lionel Messi

    2010 – Lionel Messi

    2011 – Lionel Messi

    2012 – Lionel Messi

    2013 – Cristiano Ronaldo

    2014 – Cristiano Ronaldo

    2015 – Lionel Messi

    2016 – Cristiano Ronaldo

    2017 – Cristiano Ronaldo

    2018 – Luka Modric

    2019 – Lionel Messi

    2020 – Award Ceremony Didn’t Hold

    2021 – Lionel Messi

    2022 – Karim Benzema

    2023 – Lionel Messi

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