The Ballon d'Or award is an annual football award for the best player over the previous year. It was first awarded in 1956.
In 2018, the first women's Ballon d'Or award was presented (called the Ballon d'Or Féminin).
Between 2009 and 2015 the Ballon d'Or and FIFA player of the year awards were merged to create the FIFA Ballon d'Or. In 2016, France Football announced that their partnership with FIFA had come to an end and that they would revive the Ballon d'Or award, the 2016 edition became the 61st award.
Up until 1995, the award was often referred to as the European Footballer of the Year award as it was only open to European players at European clubs. The eligibility rules were changed in 1995 to allow non-European players to be eligible for the award if they played for a European club. Then in 2007, any player in the world became eligible.
In 2021, it was the first time two more awards given, the Best Club and Best Striker of the Year. Socrates Award which acknowledges the humanitarian work by a champion footballer was first presented in 2022.
Due to the disruption to world sport in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was no award given in 2020.
The 30 nominees for the 2022 award were announced in August. Seven-time winner Lionel Messi was not on the list. The winner was the favorite from Real Madrid, Karim Benzema. Benzema became only the fifth Frenchman to do so, and at 34 years old was the oldest winner since Stanley Matthews in 1956.
- Ballon d'Or Home
- Ballon d'Or Trophy Design
- Super Ballon d'Or
- Ballon d'Or Trivia
- Ballon d'Or Firsts
- Ballon d'Or Quiz
- See also the list of the FIFA male player of the year and FIFA female player of the year.
- Football Awards Lists
- More Soccer Winners Lists
- Annual Sporting Awards
- More sporting lists