A number of Champions League winners have also won the Ballon d'Or. Winning the Golden Ball means that you are rated as the best player in the world. Several stars have won it multiple times, and some have won it consecutively. The award has been won by a number of former Real Madrid players, which is no surprise given the club's European success.
The Ballon d'Or is widely regarded as the most prestigious individual award in football. The Ballon d'Or is a coveted trophy by the world's best players, presented by the French publication, France Football.
List of Champions League winners who also won the Ballon d'Or
Some of soccer's most illustrious names have won the Ballon d'Or, the sport's most prestigious individual award. Here's a list of Champions League winners who also bagged the Ballon d'Or.
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Karim Benzema won the 2022 player of the year award by 356 votes over Sadio Mane, the award's second-largest victory in history. Benzema received 549 votes for his incredible 2021-22 season, which included leading Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double.
He was the season's leading scorer, with 27 goals in 32 games. He also scored or assisted every 89 minutes in the Champions League, including hat-tricks against PSG and Chelsea.
Luka Modric was the king of football in 2018, winning both the Champions League and the Ballon d'Or in the same year. The Real Madrid midfielder was unanimously voted the best player in the world. After winning FIFA's The Best award and UEFA's Men's Player of the Year 2017/18, the Croatian was named Ballon d'Or winner in Paris.
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He is the only Croatian in the list of Ballon d'Or winners from 1956 till date. He was named the competition's best midfielder after playing a crucial role in helping the Madridistas win La Decimotercera in the Champions League. He went on to captain Croatia to a historic World Cup final appearance.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award five times, second only to Lionel Messi, who has won it seven times. He won his first Ballon d'Or in December 2008 and has been nominated for the award 18 times.
In addition to his numerous individual awards throughout his career, Ronaldo has also won the Champions League five times - four times with Real Madrid and once with Manchester United.
Lionel Messi is the best all-time winner of the Ballon d'Or, having won it seven times. After finishing second in the rankings behind Ronaldo in 2008, Messi won his first Ballon d'Or the following year.
With FC Barcelona, he won the UEFA Champions League four times. Messi last won the Champions League with Barcelona in the 2014-15 season, when they defeated Juventus in the final.
Kaka is regarded as one of the game's last true attacking midfielders. With the ball at his feet, the Brazilian was a joy to watch as he easily ran rings around opposition players.
He was the tournament's top goal scorer and led AC Milan to victory in the 2006-07 UEFA Champions League. In December 2007, Kaká was crowned the Ballon d'Or winner, receiving nearly twice as many votes as Ronaldo in second place. After Ronaldo, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho, he became the fourth Brazilian to win the award.
His award win is notable because he was the last player to win the award before Messi and Ronaldo started to dominate. Croatian Luka Modrić ended their 10-year dominance in 2018.
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Ronaldinho is widely regarded as one of the best and most talented players of all time, having won two FIFA World Player of the Year awards as well as a Ballon d'Or.
He was a global icon of the sport and an exponent of the "Joga Bonito" style of play, renowned for his technical skills, creativity, dribbling ability and accuracy from free-kicks; use of tricks, feints, no-look passes and overhead kicks, and ability to score and create goals, all of which were prominent characteristics of his early-age futsal background.
Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 14 years in 2005-06 and another La Liga title. This gave Ronaldinho his first career double, as he received the 2005 Ballon d'Or as well as his second FIFA World Player of the Year award.
Andriy Shevchenko won the Ballon d'Or in 2004, becoming the third Ukrainian to do so after Oleh Blokhin and Igor Belanov. He was the top goal-scorer in the 2003-04 Serie A season, scoring 24 goals in 32 games as his team won the league.
He won the UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan in 2003, and he has also won league and cup titles in Ukraine, Italy, and England. Shevchenko was also a runner-up in the Champions League in 2005 and 2008.
Luis Figo made history at the end of 2000 by becoming the first Portuguese player to win the Ballon d'Or since Eusebio in 1965. He scored three goals in ten appearances as Real Madrid won the Champions League in 2001-02, though the final will be remembered for Zinedine Zidane's wondergoal.
A contentious transfer from Barcelona to Real Madrid will be remembered as one of the great moments in the rivalry between the two La Liga giants. He will be remembered as one of the greatest players of his generation.
He won another La Liga title with Barcelona in 1999, finishing as the league's second-highest scorer with 24 goals. Rivaldo won the Ballon d'Or and was named FIFA World Player of the Year. Barca's Brazilian midfielder was named Europe's best football player, beating out Manchester United midfielder David Beckham and AC Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko.
Rivaldo was a member of the R3 trio that terrorized defences during the 2002 World Cup. The legendary forward won the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2003 UEFA Champions League. He was one of the most graceful and talented players of his generation.
The Frenchman had a successful career, winning the FIFA World Cup in 1998, world player of the year award the following year, and the UEFA Champions League in 2002. Zidane is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of the twenty-first century.
In 1998, Zidane helped the French national team win their first FIFA World Cup title on home soil. After his exploits with Juventus, he won the Ballon d'Or after scoring twice in the competition's final. He also scored in Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League final victory over Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.
The 1996 Ballon d'Or was the closest in history, with Germany's Matthias Sammer edging out the electrifying Ronaldo by one vote. Sammer was an outstanding defender for Germany as they won the European Championship in 1996, and he also led Borussia Dortmund to their second consecutive Bundesliga title.
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In 1997, he won the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup. Sammer finished his career with 74 caps, 23 for East Germany and 51 for the unified team.
Stoichkov is one of the players who lost in the Champions League final but still won the Ballon d'Or. Stoichkov, the World Cup top scorer and Champions League runner-up in 1994, won the award with 210 votes. Juventus' Roberto Baggio, who missed the decisive penalty in the World Cup final, finished second, with AC Milan's Paolo Maldini finishing third.
Most Champions League winners who also won the Ballon d'Or had to be exceptionally gifted and be playing for the right team, such as Barca and Real Madrid. Success at the international, club, and individual levels is a rare combination for players, and only a few achieve it.
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Sportsbrief.com has published an article about the UEFA men's player of the year award. It is a prestigious honour given to the best male footballer playing for a European club.
The award recognizes players who produce extraordinary performances for their clubs and country in the past season. Although football has produced many top talents, just a few have lifted the trophy. Click the above link to read more!