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Ballon d'Or - New List

The Ballon d'Or is a prize for the best international footballer of the year, though that has not always been the case. From when the award was first given in 1956 until 1994, only European players were eligible to win the award. Between 1995 and 2007 players from around the world were eligible, though only if they were active at European clubs during that year.

Pele and his imaginary 7 Ballon d'Ors Pele and his imaginary 7 Ballon d'Ors

Therefore, before 2007, there may have been players from outside of Europe deserving of the best player of the year award.

To coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Ballon d'Or in 2016, France Football reevaluated the previous Ballon d'Or awards given, and determined that on twelve occasions (out of 39) there was an international player from outside of Europe that would have won. They called it "Le Nouveau Palmarès", or The New List. All of these "new" winners were South Americans.

The re-evaluation does not appear to have included the years from 1995 until 2007 when players in leagues outside of Europe were still not eligible.

Below is a list of the years in which they determined that there was a more deserving player to win the Ballon d'Or. On more than half of these occasions, it was Pelé who would have won, giving him seven possible Ballon d'Ors. Diego Maradona would also have won the award twice.

Year Original Winner Alternative Winner
1958 Raymond Kopa Pelé
1959 Alfredo Di Stéfano Pelé
1960 Luis Suárez Pelé
1961 Omar Sívori Pelé
1962 Josef Masopust Garrincha
1963 Lev Yashin Pelé
1964 Denis Law Pelé
1970 Gerd Müller Pelé
1978 Kevin Keegan Mario Kempes
1986 Igor Belanov Diego Maradona
1990 Lothar Matthäus Diego Maradona
1994 Hristo Stoichkov Romário

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