Ballon d’Or: 4 French Footballers to win the trophy
Ballon d' Or, awarded by the French football magazine France Football is undoubtedly the most recognized award in the international football Circuit. Even though a French football magazine instituted the award, only 4 footballers from France have won the award ever.
Out of these 4 Football players, one of them has won the award thrice, thus making the total number of Ballon d'Or trophies that has gone into the French soil to be 6. It is surprising to see that Portugal, Germany, and the Netherlands have won 7 awards through their footballers and is above France in the number of Ballon d'Or trophies.
A look at the 4 International Football Players from France who have won the coveted individual trophy.
#4 Raymond Kopa - 1958
Raymond Kopa was the first Frenchman to win the Ballon d'Or trophy in the year 1958. He was also in the race to become the first ever Ballon d'Or winner in the year 1956 (the year in which the award was started) but lost out to Stanley Mathews by 3 points.
Also, he was third in the race for the award in 1957 when his Real Madrid teammate Alfredo Di Stefano won the trophy. After winning the award in 1958, he came second once again in 1959 when Alfredo Di Stefano lifted the Ballon d'Or trophy.
The consistency Raymond Kopa displayed during these years being among the top 3 nominees of Ballon d'Or was literally unmatched for years to come. The fact that a French international was part of the Top 3 in all the initial years of the award is a recognition for French football.
The French international made 45 appearances for Real Madrid scoring 18 goals between 1952 and 1962. He was also well known for his dribbling skills as a playmaker and was nicknamed "Little Napolean" by French Sports Newspaper.