The most prestigious individual award in the game of football, winning the Ballon d'Or is the dream for many players.
Awarded to the player with the best performances, the Ballon d'Or has been won by some of the greatest footballers to have played the game. Ballon d'Or recipients are usually already among the best players in the world, and only the best are able to get their hands on the award.
Like any other award, there have been some upsets over the years with respect to the Ballon d'Or as well. Certain players have surprised the world by getting their hands on the award when few expected them to. Here, we look at the 5 biggest Ballon d'Or upsets of all time.
#5 Lionel Messi (2010)
Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest footballer to have played the game. He deserves all the praise and acclaim that he receives on a regular basis.
However, there have been instances in history when he has won awards that seem to defy logic. The decision to award the Argentine maestro the Ballon d'Or in 2010 was one such moment. That year, Messi helped Barcelona win La Liga, and scored 47 goals in all competitions for the club.
Wesley Sneijder, on the other hand, was Inter Milan's most important player as they won the treble that year. The Netherlands international was world-class in the 2009-10 season. He made 41 appearances in all competitions for the Nerazzurri, scoring eight goals and providing 15 assists. Sneijder should have received the Ballon d'Or for his excellent midfield displays that year.
#4 Oleg Blokhin (1975)
Oleg Blokhin is a legendary footballer who was renowned for his prolific goalscoring ability.
Blokhin spent much of his playing career representing Dynamo Kyiv. The attacker won a plethora of trophies with the club. In 1975, Blokhin helped Dynamo Kyiv win the Soviet Top League and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup. He also went on to win the Ballon d'Or that year.
The surprise here was the names of the two players who finished behind him. Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff finished second and third that season in the Ballon d'Or voting as Blokhin took home the prestigious award.