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8 players who have won the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League

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189.51K   //    02 Jun 2018, 01:40 IST

This is an exclusive club that has eluded even Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
This is an exclusive club that has eluded even Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

In the history of football, only 43 players have won the Ballon d’Or, only eight different countries have won the FIFA World Cup and only 22 teams have won the UEFA Champions League or the European Cup as it was previously known.

It would be the dream of most professional footballers to win either one of those trophies but the chances are that unless you have won the World Cup or the Champions League, you won’t win the Ballon d’Or. Nevertheless, only eight different players have had the opportunity to win the holy trinity of football.

If Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi win the World Cup in Russia, then one of them can join this exclusive list. However, this could be the last opportunity for either one of them as Ronaldo is 33 years old and Messi turns 31 during the tournament.

If Neymar can win the World Cup with Brazil and then go on to claim the Ballon d’Or, then he could join the list which has eluded even Ronaldo and Messi. As things stand, these are the only eight players to have won the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Cup and the European Cup/Champions League.

#1 Bobby Charlton

Charlton with his Ballon d'Or
Charlton with his Ballon d'Or

Manchester United great, Bobby Charlton, was the first player ever to win the Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Cup and European Cup.

Charlton spent almost his entire professional career playing for Manchester United. He scored 249 goals for the club in 758 games and is one of the survivors of the Munich disaster.

He was an important member of the England team that won the country’s only FIFA World Cup in 1966. He scored three goals during the tournament, including both the goals in a 2-1 semifinal victory over Eusebio’s Portugal.

His World Cup triumph helped him win the Ballon d’Or in 1966 and thus became the second English player to win the honour after Stanley Matthews in 1956.

Charlton won his only European Cup in 1968 as Manchester United overcame Benfica 4-1 with Charlton scoring a brace and like in the semifinal of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Eusebio was on the losing side.

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