5 great players who never won the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or is an award to validate the achievements of an individual over the calendar year. The Ballon d'Or is handed over by France Football (a French weekly magazine containing football news from all over the world). It is the most reputed football related magazine across Europe.
The first Ballon d'Or was presented in 1956 and has been an annual affair since then. However, between 2010 and 2015, France Football and FIFA collaborated and it was collectively called FIFA Ballon d'Or. But the association broke down and the name was reverted back to Ballon d'Or.
The first Ballon d'Or was won by Stanley Matthews of Blackpool, who beat a certain someone named Alfredo Di Stefano. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have won the prestigious award the most number of times, 5 each and are yet again competing for this year's award.
With the competition for the pole position being absolutely rigorous, there are always a few great personalities who miss out on the award.
So let's take a look at 5 great footballers of the recent era who never won the Ballon d'Or. We are excluding greats such as Ferenc Puskas, Bobby Moore, Bernd Schuster, Kenny Dalglish and many others who didn't play in the recent past.
Before we start, I need to put out a few Honourable mentions, Oliver Kahn, Jurgen Klinsmann, Dennis Bergkamp, Paolo Maldini and Xavi.
#5 Gianluigi Buffon
Ballon d'Or has been an award that has shown its lack of respect for shot-stoppers. The only goalkeeper to win the coveted award was Lev Yashin a.k.a The Black Spider, who was honoured for his goalkeeping prowess way back in 1963.
Buffon won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and kept 5 clean sheets and only conceded twice throughout the entire tournament. Buffon has 9 Serie A title successes to his name apart from being the most capped player for Italy.
How this absolute Behemoth of the game never won a Ballon d'Or is beyond everyone's belief.