7 times when the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year did not win Ballon d'Or
The World is readying itself for 3rd December 2018, when the winner of the Ballon d'Or 2018 will be announced. As of now the front-runner to the trophy is Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, who has already lifted the FIFA's Best Men Player of the Year Award on 24th September 2018. The Croatian saw off competition from Ronaldo and Salah and received 29.05% of the votes and if one goes by history, this makes Modric the favourite to win the Ballon d'Or too. The last two FIFA's Best Awards were both won by Ronaldo, who also went on to win the Ballon d'Or in both years. But this is not the only time that the two most coveted individual trophies in football have been won by the same player in the same year.
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The FIFA's Best Awards famously replaced the FIFA World Player of the Year Award from 2016 onward and there was an uncanny similarity between the award and the Ballon d'Or since the inception of the FIFA Awards. More often than not, the winner chosen by FIFA would go on to be the winner chosen by France Football or vice versa, which makes Modric the safest bet to win the Ballon d'Or this year.
However, there have been instances where the FIFA award and the Ballon d'Or was not won by one individual in the same year. Today, we take a look at the 7 times when the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year did not win the Ballon d'Or.
#7 Lothar Matthäus (1991)
In the very first year of the FIFA World Player of the year award, German legend Lothar Matthäus won the trophy on 8th December 1991. He received 128 points, seeing off competition from Frenchman Jean-Pierre Papin, who finished second with 113 points and English Striker Gary Lineker, who came third with 40 points. However, the Frenchman did get his due, come the end of December.
On 24th December, Jean-Pierre Papin of Marseille received the Ballon d'Or, with 141 points, whereas Matthäus came second, receiving 42 points, along with Darko Pančev and Dejan Savićević of Yugoslavia. Papin had won the French Division 1 with Marseille and had finished the season as the top scorer in both Division 1 as well as the European Cup, where Marseille had lost the final to Red Star Belgrade.