Ronaldo Nazario

Winning the Ballon d’Or once is special enough, but returning to claim another one is the stuff of iconic talent. Let’s look at the 10 players who’ve marked this incredible accolade.

The past 12 years have been wholly dominated by two names, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi has now claimed an extraordinary seven Ballon d’Or awards, two more than Ronaldo’s five.

Long before this dominance, the golden ball moved around to a variety of hands. Some players won it just once while others enjoyed the experience a few more times.

Have you ever heard of the name Alfredo Di Stefan? We bet you have.

The Real Madrid legend became the first footballer to win it twice: 1957 and 1959. Soon it was another iconic name, the great Johan Cruyff who won the Ballon d’Or no less than three times: 1971, 1973 and 1974.

The late 1980s were dominated by the phenomenal Dutchman Marco van Basten of AC Milan fame and the Holland national side. Van Basten took three Ballon d’Ors, in 1988, 1989 and in 1992.

Coming into the late 1990s into the 2000s, world football bowed down to the Brazilian center forward Ronaldo Nazario. The former Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona star won it in 1997 and in 2002.

Here are all 10 footballers who won the Ballon d’Or more than once:

  • Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – 2 times (1980, 1981)
  • Kevin Keegan – 2 times (1978, 1979)
  • Alfredo Di Stefano – 2 times (1957, 1959)
  • Ronaldo Nazario – 2 times (1997, 2002)
  • Franz Beckenbauer – 2 times (1972, 1976)
  • Marco van Basten – 3 times (1988, 1989, 1992)
  • Johan Cruyff – 3 times (1971, 1973, 1974)
  • Michel Platini – 3 times (1983, 1984, 1985)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo – 5 times (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
  • Lionel Messi – 7 times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021).

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