The Ballon d’Or is a football award which is presented annually by France Football, a weekly football magazine. The tradition of Ballon d’Or is being followed since 1956.
The award was merged with FIFA Player of the Year in 2010, and was renamed as the FIFA Ballon d’Or. However, the agreement was over in 2016 and FIFA went on to make its own separate award known as The Best FIFA Football Awards.
The Ballon d’Or is awarded to the male football player who has made a remarkable display of talent and has the best overall performance in the previous year. The voting for the nomination of the award is done by football journalists.
The Ballon d’Or award honours was initially only awarded to European players. However, since 1995 it expanded to include all the players of from any origin who played active role in the European clubs. In 2007, the award finally reached out to include all professional players around the world irrespective of their origin or league.
Stanley Matthews of English club Blackpool, was the first player to be awarded the Ballon d’Or.
George Weah was the first non-European and only African player to receive the award.
Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentine Lionel Messi are the only players in the history of football who have won the award for a record five times each.