5 controversial Ballon d'Or winners in recent years
The Ballon d'Or is the most prestigious individual honor in world football which is given to the best player on the planet every year by French Magazine, France Football. Among many contenders who are all nominated to fight for the award, the best is chosen on the basis of votes.
However, there have been times when one contender has performed extremely well, keeping goals and assists in consideration, while another contender has won more numbers of major trophies. In such cases, the decision has often resulted in controversies as different player fan-bases quarrel into each other backing their player of being the most deserving to win the award.
Therefore, we take a look at five Ballon d'Or winners who were deemed to be undeserving, and hence, gave rise to many controversies. They are as follows:
#5 Pavel Nedved (2003)
The Czech Republic star had a successful year in 2003 where he retained the Italian title and reached the Champions League final with Juventus. Paolo Maldini, who won the Champions League that year, the fourth of his career, was edged to the third place.
Thierry Henry who had a terrific run that year was denied the award and given the second place. The Frenchman had 42 goals and 26 assists in the whole calendar year, which were huge numbers before the arrival of Messi and Ronaldo. Zinedine Zidane, the Real Madrid and France midfielder who won Fifa's world player of the year award that year, finished fifth.
This gave rise to a controversial win for Nedved as there were many who believed that Thierry Henry and Paolo Maldini's stellar performances made them more deserving of the honor.