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.
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 the 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).
- Ballon d'Or Home
- The Ballon d'Or reassessed - who would have won if international players were allowed prior to 1995.
- The Super Ballon d'Or
- Ballon d'Or History
- Ballon d'Or Trivia
- 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