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Ballon d'Or Honorary Awards

In addition to the annual Ballon d'Or award for the best football player of the year, there have been two honorary awards given to legends of the sport, who were never eligible for a Ballon d'Or during their playing days (though they were both retrospectively acknowledged as possible winners of the Ballon d'Or).

1995 Ballon d'Or d'honneur

Argentinian legend Diego Maradona received an honorary Ballon d'Or in January 1995 for his services to football, called the Golden Ballon d'Or. Despite being the best footballer in the world for a long period, he was never eligible for the Ballon d'Or as at that time it was only for European players. The eligibility of the Ballond'Or in 1995 was expanded to include all players from around the world, as long as they had been been active at European clubs.

Argentinian legend Diego Maradona Argentinian legend Diego Maradona

2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur (Award of Honor)

During the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or presentation they announced a new award, called theĀ FIFA Ballon d'Or Prix d'Honneur (also known as the FIFA Ballon d'Or Honorary Award), which went to Brazilian legend Pele. Despite a career that saw him win three World Cups and score hundreds of goals, Pele was never awarded a Ballon d'Or because at that time only European footballers were eligible (the rule changed in 1995).

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More Football

Football (some call it soccer) is the world's most popular sport. There are many major football tournaments, the pinnacle is the FIFA World Cup. See a calendar of what is coming up. There have been many legends of the game, particularly winners of the Ballon d'Or. For players, there are articles about Football Fitness and Fitness Testing.

Sport Extra

Check out the 800+ sports in the Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport? We also have sports winners lists, and about major sports events and a summary of every year.

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