Real Madrid and Barcelona have the highest number of Ballon d’Or winners in the history of the award. The two Spanish giants have players that have a combined record of 24 Ballon d’Or awards between them with each club having twelve winners each.
Spanish clubs have dominated football’s most coveted individual award – the Ballon d’Or with the highest number of players that have won the trophy so far.
They have pulled an astonishing number of Ballon d’Or winners. They are among the clubs with the highest number of Ballon d’Or awards in history.
Prior to the 2022 Ballon d’Or, Real Madrid played second fiddle to another European and Spanish rival, Barcelona, on the numbers of Ballon d’Or won by their players.
Los Blancos had a total of 11 winners, one less than Barcelona, who had a total 12 winners.
However, after Karim Benzema emerged as the unrivaled and undisputed contender for the award in the 2022 edition, the Los Blancos have now equaled Barcelona’s tally with 12 Ballon d’Or winners.
Notably, only eight payers have won the award while playing for the European and Spanish giants, with Ferenc being the first Real Madrid player to win the prize, after winning it in 1957.
Ferenc Puskas became the only second Ballon d’Or winner in 1957 after the award was initiated.
The Hungarian is made up for his second-place finish to Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews the year before.
After Ferenc won the award as a Real Madrid player in 1957, the next two years saw the Los Blancos players dominate the award.
Raymond Kopa was the second Real Madrid player to win. Puskas reclaimed it in 1959; that was the last time a Madrid player was to clinch the award for decades to follow.
Despite dominating European club competitions, Real Madrid had to wait for over four decades before they could have their player lay hands on the award again.
It was Portugal’s legendary footballer Luis Figo who brought the coveted trophy back to Santiago Bernabeu when he won it in 2000.
Brazilian football legend and controversial forward Ronaldo Nazario was the next on line to win the award after an incredible season with the Los Blancos.
Italian Fabio Cannavaro also won the award, becoming the fourth Real Madrid player to do so.
Next on the line was Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first and only Real Madrid player to win the award more than once.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times throughout his career. Out of the five times, he has won it four times with Real Madrid and once with Manchester United.
Another real Madrid player who has claimed the award is Luka Modric.
The Real Madrid and Croatian midfielder became the seventh Real Madrid player to win the award after winning the Champions League and leading Croatia to the finals of the 2018 World Cup.
The last name and the eighth Real Madrid player to win the award is 34-year-old France international Karim Benzema.
According to pundits, Benzema was an unrivaled contender for the 2022 Ballon d’Or award after he scored 44 goals in 46 matches for Real Madrid in the 2021/22 football season, helping the team win the La Liga and Champions League.
Unlike Real Madrid, who had eight Ballon d’Or winners raking in a total of 12 Ballon d’Or into Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona had only six players that have won the award throughout its history.
Out of the six players, Lionel Messi has won the award more than the other players put together, winning over 50% of the total.
Luis Suarez became the first Barcelona player to win the award after clinching the award in 1960.
Luis Suarez defeated the likes of Real Madrid’s duo Ferenc and Puskas, including Uwe Seeler, to win the award.
The next Barcelona player to win the award was Johan Cruyff, who won the award back-to-back.
The third Barcelona player to win the award was Bulgarian legend Hristo Stoichkov.
Rivaldo of Brazil also won the award, followed by another Brazilian, Ronaldinho, who won the award in 2006.
Ronaldinho was the last Barcelona player to win the prestigious award before Lionel Messi took over the reins.
Messi became the first Barcelona to win the award a straight three times.
Messi also won the award a record six times as a Barcelona player, when he won the trophy in 2019 after a heroic campaign both with the Blaugrana and the Argentina national team.
Messi has won the award a record seven times, the highest tally ever by any player in the award’s history.
Messi won his last Ballon d’Or as a PSG player, but his records at the Catalans is what counted for the legendary Argentina playmaker.
Juventus and AC Milan are the next two clubs with more players that have won the award, with eight each, while Bayern Munich players have won it four times.