France Football
EUROPEAN 
FOOTBALLER of the YEAR

     
 

Alfredo Di Stefano,
the 'Blond Arrow' was Argentine-born and played for his country of  birth and Colombia before becoming a Spanish international.

Eusebio,
the inspiration behind the successes of Benfica and Portugal in the 1960s.

Michel Platini,
the Frenchman was the first player to receive the award three years in succession.

Lionel Messi,
the Barcelona player became the final winner of the European award before it was combined with the World Player of the Year award.
 

In 1956 the French magazine 'France Football' inaugurated the Ballon d'Or (The Golden Ball) for the best European footballer of the year.

Until 1994 only players who were eligible to play for a European national team were considered for the award but from 1995 any player from a European club, regardless of his country of birth, became eligible. Votes were cast by journalists, one representing each member country of UEFA.

In 2010 the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards were merged together with the FIFA Ballon d'Or being awarded to the player being selected as the best in the world. See FIFA Ballon d'Or

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

    1956 Stanley Matthews (Blackpool)
    1957 Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)
    1958 Raymond Kopa (Real Madrid)
    1959 Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid)
    1960 Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
    1961 Omar Sivori (Juventus)
    1962 Josef Masopust (Dukla Prague)
    1963 Lev Yashin (Dynamo Moscow)
    1964 Denis Law (Manchester United)
    1965 Eusebio (Benfica)
    1966 Bobby Charlton (Manchester United)
    1967 Florian Albert (Ferencvaros)
    1968 George Best (Manchester United)
    1969 Gianni Rivera (AC Milan)
    1970 Gerd Muller (Bayern Munich)
    1971 Johan Cruyff (Ajax)
    1972 Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich)
    1973 Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)
   

1974

Johan Cruyff (Barcelona)
    1975 Oleg Blokhin (Dynamo Kiev)
    1976 Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich)
    1977 Alan Simonsen (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
    1978 Kevin Keegan (Hamburg)
    1979 Kevin Keegan (Hamburg)
    1980 Karl-Heinz Rummenige (Bayern Munich)
    1981 Karl-Heinz Rummenige (Bayern Munich)
    1982 Paolo Rossi (Juventus)
    1983 Michel Platini (Juventus)
    1984 Michel Platini (Juventus)
    1985 Michel Platini (Juventus)
    1986 Igor Belanov (Dynamo Kiev)
    1987 Ruud Gullitt (AC Milan)
    1988 Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
    1989 Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
    1990 Lothar Matthaus (Inter Milan)
    1991 Jean-Pierre Papin (Olympique Marseille)
    1992 Marco van Basten (AC Milan)
    1993 Roberto Baggio (Juventus)
    1994 Hristo Stoichkov (Barcelona)
    1995 George Weah (AC Milan)
    1996 Matthias Sammer (Borussia Dortmund)
    1997 Ronaldo (Inter Milan)
    1998 Zinedine Zidane (Juventus)
    1999 Rivaldo (Barcelona)
    2000 Luis Figo (Real Madrid)
    2001 Michael Owen (Liverpool)
    2002 Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
    2003 Pavel Nedved (Juventus)
    2004 Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan)
    2005 Ronaldinho (Barcelona)
    2006 Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid)
    2007 Kaka (AC Milan)
    2008 Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
    2009 Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
   
    See FIFA Ballon d'Or