Manchester United has had a Ballon d'Or trophy winner a total of 4 times in their history and the latest winner was obviously the present generation football legend Cristiano Ronaldo. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award a total of 5 times and the first time he won it was with Manchester United in 2008.
Cristiano Ronaldo came close to winning the trophy in 2007 also with Manchester United but came second, losing out to Kaka. But the very next year, Cristiano Ronaldo ensured that the 4-decade deadlock of Ballon d'Or trophy ended with his laurels in 2008.
How many manchester united players have won the ballon d'or?
Total of 4 Manchester United players have won the ballon d'or - Ronaldo, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, George Best.
But then, who were the other 3 players who had previously won the trophy 3 times for the Red Devils? That’s what we are here for.
A look at the 3 Manchester United players apart from Cristiano Ronaldo who had won the coveted individual trophy.
#3 Denis Law - 1964
No.3 on the list of manchester united ballon d'or winners is Denis Law, he still holds the record of being the only Scottish footballer ever to win the Ballon d'Or trophy. He was signed by Manchester United in the year 1962 and represented the club till 1973. He scored 171 goals in 309 appearances for the club making his goal tally third best behind Wayne Rooney and Bobby Charlton for the Red Devils.
Denis Law won the Ballon d'Or trophy in the year 1964 beating the Barcelona legend Luis Suarez who himself was a Ballon d'Or winner with FC Barcelona. Denis Law was also a prolific forward for the Scottish national team and has scored 30 goals from 55 appearances.
Denis Law was given multiple nicknames during his playing career - " The Lawman', " Denis the Menace','The King" etc. were some of the famous ones.
#2 Bobby Charlton- 1966
No.2 on the list of manchester united ballon d'or winners is Bobby Charlton. He is still considered as one of the best midfielders in the history of English football. He had won the Ballon d'Or trophy in the year 1966 after his triumph at the FIFA Worldcup 1966 in which he played a pivotal role in winning the cup for England.
Bobby Charlton was signed by the Red Devils in the year 1956, following his youth career with them. He represented the club for 17 years making 606 appearances and scoring 199 goals during his tenure. He also played for the England national football team 106 times and had scored 49 goals.
He became a board member at Manchester United in 1984 and can be considered as a true byproduct of the Manchester United youth setup. He was as a loyal Red Devils fan throughout his career and had an unusually long career (17 years) with Manchester United and never experienced any kind of success with any other club.
#1 George Best- 1968
No.1 on the list of manchester united ballon d'or winners is George Best, he was the Northern Ireland international who was also the byproduct of the Manchester United youth setup like Bobby Charlton. He first played for Manchester United in the year 1963 and went to make 361 appearances for the club and ended up scoring 137 goals.
After Bobby Charlton won the Ballon d'Or in the year 1966, Charlton again came close to winning it for the second time in 1967 and 1968. In 1968, Charlton had lost out to his teammate George Best who was at the peak of his career then.
George Best was an extravagant footballer who spent all the money earned on lavish cars and booze. He was nicknamed "El Beatle" for his lifestyle and he succumbed to his health issues and died in 2005.
It is interesting to note that the 3 winners of Ballon d'Or for Manchester United, all played in the same era and were best friends in their lifetime. They were called the United Trinity or the Holy Trinity and were instrumental in Manchester United becoming one of the top clubs in the world.
Manchester United is still on the lookout for the new set of players who can be the future Ballon d'Or winners with their youth academy.
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