All the Ballon D'or winners if Cristiano and Messi didn't exist

The world of football has been owned by two players and everyone else is under their shadow. The race to be the greatest is so interesting that people forget that other players and teams exist too. The achievements of other individuals are not appreciated as these two never fail to surprise football fans.

The French Ballon D’or is the highest honour for any footballer to getting their hands on. This title has been dominated by Cristiano and Messi for more than a decade and they continue to do it.

At times people have accused this French award to be unjust for their favourite player. The fans think that many players have been ‘robbed off” from getting this big honour.

What if Cristiano and Messi didn’t exist? Who would win the Ballon d’Or?

2008 – Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres helped Spain and Liverpool crucially to pave the way for their title dreams. Torres reached his career’s prime in 2008 for Liverpool.

2009 – Xavi

The Spanish master of midfield was one of the main reasons behind the success of FC Barcelona in 2009. The player got close with Lionel Messi and lost by a fine margin to him.

2010 – Andres Iniesta
The year 2010 was lucky for every Spanish player as Spain won the World Cup in 2010. The special player of the competition for Spain was Iniesta as he got the winning goal in the final. Iniesta finished 2nd in the Ballon D’or list in 2010.


2011 – Xavi
Xavi helped Barcelona to lift the La Liga, Champions League and the Super Copa. It was due to his dominance in midfield Barcelona managed to attack the way they did. The contribution was Leo Messi was clearly more than his but he was the second-best man on the pitch.

2012 – Falcao
Falcao was a beauty to watch Atletico Madrid. The style of play and the season he had would have easily made him the Ballon D’or player.

2013 – Frank Ribery
The most controversial year for the Ballon d’Or. Many people believe that Frank Ribery deserved the Ballon D’or ahead of Cristiano and Messi but he was ‘robbed’ of it. Ribery lifted 5 trophies with FC Bayern Munich and still failed to grab the Ballon D’or.

2014 – Manuel Neuer
Germany won the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014. Neuer contributed greatly to achieving this feat. The player had a great season for FC Bayern Munich in that season but couldn’t finish above Cristiano or Messi in the title race.

2015 – Neymar
Neymar won the treble with FC Barcelona. The greatest trio in the history of football shocked the world with their excellence. Neymar, Suarez and Messi together won the Champions League, La Liga and Copa Del Rey for Barcelona. Messi finished above his these two and got another title to his name. It could be Neymar if they had a slightly different season.

2016 – Antoine Griezmann
Greizamann was unstoppable in Atletico Madrid in La Liga as he would score beautiful goals every week. Griezmann helped France reach the Euro final but they lost to Portugal in the final and it lead to Cristiano winning the title.

2017 – Neymar
Neymar moved to PSG and start a new career. The player surprised everyone by this move. This transfer was the beginning of a rebirth for the Ligue 1.

2018 – Luka Modric
Luka Modric did actually finished above Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi to win the Ballon D’or in 2018. The first player to break their decade long dominance of the French title.

2019 – Virgil Van Dijk
The player had a great season with Liverpool and he won the Champions League the same year. Van Dijk finished above Cristiano but lost to Leo Messi by a fine margin.

2020 – Robert Lewandowski (postponed)
It was all Robert Lewandowski in the world of strikers. Lewandowski won all the possible titles available with FC Bayern Munich. The award ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Robert is the undisputed winner of 2020 Ballon D’or with no other players coming close to him.

A variety of players would’ve got the chance to lift the title in the absence of these two football legends. A rivalry like this won’t ever repeat in future and we are lucky to have experienced them doing the impossible again and again.


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