4 players who should have won the Ballon d'Or but did not
The Ballon d'Or is an individual award given to players by France football. Between 2010 and 2015, an agreement was made with FIFA and it was known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or. Now simply known as the Ballon d'or, its winner is chosen by a poll among the elites of the footballing world.
The record for the highest number of wins by a single player is shared by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with both players winning the award on 5 occasions. Since 2008, the award has been shared only between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi broke Michel Platini's record of winning the award 3 times in a row when he won the award 4 times continuously between 2009 and 2012. The last player apart from Messi or Ronaldo to win this award was Kaka in 2007.
On that note, there are a few legends of the game who have been denied the award, owing to the rivalry between the Portuguese and the Argentine. Here's a look at 4 such legends in the modern era who should have won the Ballon d'Or but did not:
#4 Gianluigi Buffon
One of the greatest goalkeepers of the modern era, Gianluigi Buffon should have won the Ballon d'Or in 2006 when he lifted the world cup with Italy. The winner of the Ballon d'Or that year was his Italian teammate and defender, Fabio Cannavaro.
They got through the group stages with two wins over the Czech Republic and Ghana and a draw against the USA. In the three matches in the group stage, they conceded just one goal.
Wins against Australia, Ukraine, and Germany meant they reached the final of the world cup conceding just 1 goal. They won the final match on penalties with David Trezeguet's penalty hitting the crossbar.
A legendary keeper who has been in the game for 23 years ever since making his debut for Parma in 1995, Buffon has made 671 appearances for Parma and Juventus combined and a further 175 appearances for Italy.
2006 was his best shot at the award, and it was just bad luck that he had to come up against one of the best defenders in world football, and against the likes of Messi and Ronaldo since then.