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5 Footballers that should have won a Ballon d'Or

Top 5 / Top 10
Published 15 Sep 2018, 14:02 IST
15 Sep 2018, 14:02 IST

The Best?
The Best

The past 10 years have seen Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo winning 5 Ballon d'Ors each. The last winner of the award that didn't play for either FC Barcelona or Real Madrid was A.C. Milan and Brazilian playmaker Kaka. Even in 2007, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo saw themselves nestling in the top three.

After that year, both men have been at the top of the football ladder. Messi has been part of the top 3 ever since, with Ronaldo missing out the year Iniesta and Xavi helped Spain win the World Cup in 2010. So, if these two men didn't dominate world football, who would have been able to snatch the top prize? Let's find out:

Honourable Mentions: Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 2013/14, Luis Suarez: 2015/16

#5 Wesley Sneijder: 2010

The Dutch legend recently announced retirement from the international game
The Dutch legend recently announced retirement from the international game

Winner: Lionel Messi

Wesley Sneijder is the perfect example of a player that excelled at the top level for only a few years. After failing to impress at Real Madrid, the Spanish side sold Sneijder for a 12 million loss to Italian champions Internazionale. This was going to be Portuguese manager, Jose Mourinho's second season at the club. He had lost his star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona, and had to rely on ageing forwards like Diego Milito and Samuel Eto'o.

The perfect link to these strikers was provided by Wesley Sneijder. Even though people had not hyped him up for greatness in Inter Milan, Sneijder became the best player for them in a historic treble-winning campaign. After this, Sneijder spearheaded Netherlands into the FIFA World Cup final, where they lost to the Spanish.

Sneijder was voted into multiple lists as the best midfielder in the world for that season, but he happened to finish 4th in the Ballon d'Or standings behind the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi. This is considered to be one of the greatest injustices in Ballon d'Or history, and bears a mention here. Sneijder should and could have been the winner in the 2009/10 Ballon d'Or award ceremony.

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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 17:47 IST
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