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Most Controversial Ballon d’Or winners in Football history

The controversial Ballon d’Or winners list is again trending as France football awarded the winner. Last night the Football world has witnessed the legacy of a Little magician. Leo Messi is awarded by a Ballon d’Or. This was his 7th win, which is the most in the history of the award. Soon the Ballon d’Or winner was crowned, hashtags on social media with Injustice with Lewandowski begins.

Mainstream media also telecast some of the tweets and fans’ responses over Messi’s win. However, this is not the first time where fans called ballon d’Or award-based and fixed.

Fans and Football pundits always take a dig at some of the previous Ballon d’Or winners, which they think someone other should have won instead.

Keeping in mind, here I listed the top controversial Ballon d’Or winners and who should have won instead. According to fans and football pundits, The actual winner of that ballon d’Or was robbed by the winner.

Without wasting any time, let’s have a look at the most Controversial Ballon d’Or winners:

#5. Luka Modric (2018)

Luka Modric ended the decade domination of Messi-Ronaldo on the award by lifting the 2018 Ballon d’Or in pairs. LM10 truly had a dream run that year.

From winning the champions league with Real Madrid to taking Cortia to its maiden WorldCup final, everything looks like a fairy tale for Modric. He also won the Fifa Golden Ball in the 2018 World Cup.

But all of these things don’t make sense when the fans and pandits count individual performance impact on the game. Real Madrid star and Juventus new signing Cristiano Ronaldo, was the favorite to lift the ballon d’Or.

He scores 51 goals for the club and 5 goals in WorldCup including a hattrick against Spain. His goal against Juventus in the champions league semifinal was awarded, Puskas. Above all, He was the key player for Madrid’s 3rd consecutive champion league campaign.

So, beating a player with these stats, Modric finds his win in the controversial ballon d’Or list.

#4. Leo Messi (2010)

2010 Fifa Ballon d’Or was the 1st in history where the top 3 finalists are from the same club. Leo Messi beats the likes of Xavi, Iniesta to lift his 2nd Ballon d’Or. 2010 was not only famous for featuring three players from the same club in the top 3 but the winner of this year’s award made it controversial.

Imagine winning a treble with the Team in European football and finishing as finalists in the 2010 WorldCup and still not included in the top 3 was injustice indeed.

Wesley Sneijder won every possible trophy with the club including the champions league beating Barcelona in the semi-final. He also won the Golden Ball in the 2010 World Cup. Yet he didn’t finish in the top 3.

Another side, Iniesta and Xavi were the key players in Spain’s world cup winning campaign. Iniesta scored in the final and was awarded, MOM. All these glories consider nill when Messi was awarded the ballon d’Or. Hence it makes this ballon d’Or controversial.

#3. Pavel Nedved (2003)

Scoring 42 goals and 26 assists in a calendar year, was not every player’s cup of tea before the Ronaldo-Messi era. Thierry Henry pulled of these stats while playing for Arsenal’s side.

He was a pillar in the arsenal Invincible campaign. Other than Him, Paolo Maldini was the favorite to win but instead, Pavel Nedved won the ballon d’Or.

Nedved win over these two players left every fan and football pandit in shock.

#2. Matthias Sammer (1996)

In 1996, the world witnessed the breakthrough season of Ronaldo Nazario. In 1996, he scored 50 goals in 48 matches for Barcelona, and considering his form he was the favorite to lift the Ballon d’Or.

Obviously, France football had seen his form and decided to award the Ballon d’Or to Matthias Sammer. Everyone including Matthias Sammer was shocked after France football revealed the winner’s name.

Although Sammer had a nice season but not convincing enough to be awarded Ballon d’Or. Moreover, Ronaldo losing to Sammer by a single point explains all on why this year ballon d’Or was on the list of Controversial winners.

#1. Michael Owen (2001)

Michael Owen till now remained the last English man to lift the Ballon d’Or trophy. In the 2001 season, Owen won three trophies including the FA Cup and UEFA cup. He scored 24 goals in 46 games and was an integral part of the Reds 2000/2001 season Campaign.

However, beating real Madrid star Raul Gonzalaz and Bayern legend Oliver Kahn was over the Curtin. Raul won the champions league winner medal with Madrid and Kahn had a wonderful run with the national and club team.

But still, France football yet again decided to give the award to an English player just because he was young and scoring goals however in terms of impact on the game, Raul was way ahead of him.

Football fans till now didn’t digest Michael Owen’s win and awarded his victory ”with the most controversial winner in the history of the Ballon d’Or” title.

Other than these, the honorary mentions of the controversial winner list also included the winners of 1986, 2000, 2013, 2004, and 2019 ballon d’Or. Canceling the Ballon d’Or 2020 was the biggest injustice to Lewandoski. As the player won 6 trophies with Bayern Munich including the club’s 2nd treble.

FAQs Regarding Controversial Ballon d’Or winners

Q. Which player was most deserved to win the Ballon d’Or?

A. Robert Lewandowski in 2020 and Thierry Henry in 2003 were the most deserving candidates.

Q. Who won the 2000 and 2006 Ballon d’Or?

A. in 2000, Luis Figo won and in 2006 Fabio Canvero.

Q. How many votes did Ronaldo get in 1996 ballon d’Or?

A. Ronaldo got 143 votes. One less than the winner.

Written By

High on sports since forever, aspiring sports journalist and a FC Barcelona fan. Enjoys writing articles on any sport. Can also be considered a F1 bandwagoner.

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