Ranking the 4 players who have won a Ballon d'Or with more than one club

Messi vs. Ronaldo has been the dominant battle in the race for the Ballon d'Or
Messi vs. Ronaldo has been the dominant battle in the race for the Ballon d'Or
Sayan Chatterjee

The Ballon d'Or is undoubtedly the most coveted individual prize in football. French news magazine France Football honors the best player of the year on the basis of votes from journalists, national team captains and coaches.

The 2021 Ballon d'Or was claimed by PSG superstar Lionel Messi in Paris last night (30 November). The Argentine maestro was adjudged the best player for a record seventh time, claiming the award more times than any other footballer in history.

Messi beat competition from the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Jorginho and Karim Benzema, among significant others. Both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the award, winning 12 of the last 13 Ballon d'Ors.

It goes on without saying that some of the all-time greats have laid their hands on the Ballon d'Or throughout history. A few greats have won it multiple times but there are only four players in history who have won a Ballon d'Or at different clubs.

Without further ado, let's take a look at 4 players who have won the Ballon d'Or with more than one club.

#4 Ronaldo Nazario

The Best FIFA Football Awards - Green Carpet Arrivals
The Best FIFA Football Awards - Green Carpet Arrivals

One of the greatest forwards to have ever graced the game, Ronaldo Nazario needs no introduction. At just 21, 'El Fenomeno' won his first Ballon d'Or in 1997 following his tremendous season at Inter Milan. He became the youngest recipient of the award in football history.

Ronaldo's second Ballon d'Or came in 2002 at Real Madrid. The Brazilian great led his nation to a World Cup triumph, winning the Golden Boot in the tournament. This was Ronaldo's second World Cup victory with his nation— his previous success came in the 1994 edition of the tournament. He has also helped Brazil finish runners-up in the 1998 World Cup.

Ronaldo Nazario remains the youngest player ever to win the Ballon d'Or award at 21-years old, an award he's won twice.He's a two-time World Cup winner having won the Golden Boot at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.Happy birthday to one of the greatest strikers of all-time.

In three World Cup tournaments, Ronaldo racked up 15 goals and remained the top scorer in World Cups until Germany's Miroslav Klose broke the record in 2014. Ronaldo ended up with 62 goals in 98 matches for Brazil, cementing his legacy as one of the finest in the sport.

#3 Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff of Barcelona and Ajax
Johan Cruyff of Barcelona and Ajax

Johan Cruyff was the first footballer in history to win the Ballon d'Or at more than one club. Cruyff was not only one of the greatest footballers of all time, but was also renowned for his philosophy and coaching style which is evident at Barcelona and Ajax even now.

Cruyff was a pivotal part of the sensational Ajax team which ruled Europe from 1971 to 1973. For his exploits, the Dutch legend won his first Ballon d'Or in 1971.

On this day in 1973, Johan Cruyff won his second Ballon d'Or after his first in 1971.

Following his move to Barcelona in 1973, Cruyff won two consecutive Ballon d'Or awards in 1973 and 1974. He led the Catalan giants to their first league title in 14 years, changing the way Blaugrana played football forever.

#2 Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid v Sevilla - La Liga
Real Madrid v Sevilla - La Liga

Cristiano Ronaldo, along with Lionel Messi, has dominated the Ballon d'Or podium for the majority of the last decade. The Portuguese icon has etched his name into the history books, becoming one of the greatest footballers ever to play for Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Ronaldo arrived at Manchester United in 2003, rising slowly to become one of the best wingers in the world. A young Ronaldo had a bag full of tricks with unparalleled pace and shooting skills which made him a nightmare for the defenders.

Ronaldo showed his caliber by being the Red Devils' talisman in the last three years of his first stint at Old Trafford. United won three consecutive Premier League titles from 2007 to 2009, which saw Ronaldo win the coveted Ballon d'Or in 2008.

Cristiano Ronaldo finishes outside the top three in the Ballon d'Or for the first time since 2010 ❌

Ronaldo reached his peak at Real Madrid, racking up four more Ballon d'Or awards in his nine-year tenure. The Portuguese captain is Los Blancos' leading goalscorer with 451 goals and has helped the Spanish giants win four Champions League titles with his prowess.

Ronaldo was more of a goalscorer in the Spanish capital, always stepping up on the biggest stages. There is no doubt that the 36-year old could have won more Ballon d'Or awards had it not been for a certain Argentine genius.

#1 Lionel Messi

Ballon D'Or : Ceremony At Theatre Du Chatelet In Paris
Ballon D'Or : Ceremony At Theatre Du Chatelet In Paris

Greats like Johan Cruyff predicted that Lionel Messi will go on to win "five, six or seven" Ballon d'Or awards in his career. The Argentine maestro turned Cruyff's prediction into reality last night. No other footballer in the history of the sport has come close to matching his dominance on the Ballon d'Or main stage.

Messi's achievements with Barcelona are a testament to the fact that he is arguably the greatest player of all time. During his tenure at the Nou Camp, he scored a whopping 672 goals and provided another 301 assists. It is safe to say that his extraterrestrial records and numbers will remain untouched in the near future.

Messi finished third in the race for the Ballon d'Or in 2007 but made the award his own as his career progressed. The Argentine magician claimed the award four consecutive times from 2009 to 2012 before winning it three times in 2015, 2019 and 2021 respectively.


Messi won six times while he was at Barcelona and became the first PSG player to win the Ballon d'Or last night after his move to Paris in the summer. Although his exploits with Barcelona last campaign were taken into account, PSG will be honored to have a Ballon d'Or winner in their team.

Edited by Shourjo Chatterjee


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