Super Ballon d’Or: What It is and Who It Can Be Awarded to As Messi and Haaland Go Head to Head

Super Ballon d’Or: What It is and Who It Can Be Awarded to As Messi and Haaland Go Head to Head

Martin Moses
updated at October 18, 2023 at 3:14 PM
In this article:
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  • The 2023 Ballon d'Or debate is about to dominate football headlines come the end of October
  • It will be awarded to one of Lionel Messi or Erling Haaland who are the perceived frontrunners
  • Sports Brief looks at the Super Ballon d'Or award which has been awarded only once in history

Much of the football talk at the end of October will be centred around the big derbies in European top leagues. Manchester City will play Manchester United on October 29, a day after Barcelona would have played Real Madrid in El Clasico.

But a day later, all eyes will be on the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for the 2023 Ballon d'Or ceremony, where the who's who and all the mega stars who shone last season are expected to attend the gala in the French capital.

Karim Benzema, Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Ballon d'Or, Super Ballon d'Or
Karim Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d'Or award. Photo by Aurelien Meunier.
Source: Getty Images

Save for 2020, the Ballon d'Or award has been given out every year since 1956 to the person adjudged to have put in the best individual football performances of the past year.

Lionel Messi has scooped the most number of awards in history (seven), followed by his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo (five).

What is the Super Ballon d'Or?

But have you ever heard of the Super Ballon d'Or? Judging by the name, the award is superior to the normal Ballon d'Or title that is handed out every year.

The Super Ballon d'Or has only been awarded once in history, when Real Madrid legend, Alfredo Di Stefano won it on December 24, 1989.

AS GMS reported, only European players were eligible for the award when it was first introduced, but that rule was amended in 1995 to accommodate everyone.

The award was given to the best player over the last 30. Di Stefano beat a stellar list that included three-time Ballon d'Or winner Michel Platini, Dutch maestro Johan Cruyff, and Franz Beckenbauer.

The trophy, which resembles the original Ballon d'Or trophy except that it has more golden balls at the base, was auctioned off in 2021, years after sitting at the Real Madrid museum.

Will it ever be awarded again?

It is unknown whether the Super Ballon d'Or will be awarded again, but Diario AS speculates the French magazine could do so yet again in 2029.

Should the bigger version of award come up for contention again, it is a no-brainer that it will be a two-way battle between Messi and Ronaldo.

The location of the award won by Di Stefano is currently not known and thus, the organisers might be forced to commission a new trophy.

Why Messi will beat Haaland

In a previous report, Sports Brief explained why Messi holds the Ballon d’Or advantage over Haaland in the 2023 vote despite the Man City star and his team winning the treble.

Apart from the FIFA World Cup factor, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner starred in major games compared to the Norwegian’s outings in games like the UEFA Champions League.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)