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Top 10 players never to win the Ballon d’Or

Top 10 players never to win the Ballon d’Or 

While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s have recently dominated the Ballon d’Or, several world-class stars have missed out on the award, most notably Neymar. However, he is in esteemed group.

So, adding fuel to the fire, here’s Sports Dias take on the 10 best stars to fumble out on the Ballon d’Or.

Before we go to our list, we must brave the two elephants in the room – Pele and Diego Maradona.

Sadly, the South American duo weren’t qualified for the award as the Ballon d’Or was only unlocked up to non-Europeans in 1995. Pele had long since withdrawn by then and Maradona was in the sunset of his career back in Argentina.

Not that either player required further validation.

Here is our list:

11.Ferenc Puskas

A fundamental member of the acclaimed 1950s Olympic gold-winning Hungarian national team for whom he tallied 84 goals in 85 appearances. Puskas left his mark on the sport without winning its most prestigious personal prize.

The cryptic striker famously told the Bernabeu club before signing him in 1958: “I can’t play, I’m too fat.”

To many soccer enthusiasts, Puskas is known for being connected with the award for FIFA’s ‘most beautiful goal,’ handed out on the same night as the Ballon d’Or, something which continues to celebrate his legacy.

10.Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish

Known to Liverpool supporters as ‘King Kenny,’ Scottish striker Dalglish is arguably the most popular Brit not to win the award.

The Glaswegian is a legend at both Celtic Park and Anfield, a club where he spent 13 trophy-laden years.

His fame as a player included six First Division titles and three European Cups, with his final win in 1983, the year that he ended runner-up to France’s Michel Platini in the Ballon d’Or.

He is widely-regarded as Scotland’s most celebrated ever player and holds a record 102 caps for his country. He scored 230 goals in 559 games during his club career.

9.Frank Rijkaard

Able to play anyplace from central defence to second striker, Rijkaard is considered as one of the greatest ever defensive midfielders, endowed with acute technical ability and all the physical attributes.

A true all-rounder, the 6ft 3in Ajax and AC Milan figure finished third in both the 1988 and 1989 events.

He won two European Cups with the Rossoneri and a European Championship with the Netherlands as an essential part and heartbeat of a stylish side.

Often ignored thanks to the Dutch’s rich soccer history and infamously cherished for spitting at Rudi Voller at the 1990 World Cup, it shouldn’t take away from his accomplishments as an individual.

8.Ryan Giggs

One European Cup, a Champions League, four FA Cups and 13 Premier League titles – among a multitude of more miniature trophies to make up a total of 34 – sounds like a club’s record, not a player’s.

They all go to Giggs, though, and he even has a long list of personal honours to his name such as a PFA Player of the Year prize and having scored in every Premier League season bar one until his resignation in 2014.

Although lots of players possess more personal accolades, the academy prodigy was the first of the famed Class of ’92 to break through to Sir Alex Ferguson’s first-team and last to retire, marking his unmatched longevity in the English game.

The Wales manager was nevermore truly in the running for the Ballon d’Or during his top years but his status in European soccer as a one-club winner will always set him apart.

7.Paolo Maldini

When many soccer enthusiasts think of the perfect defender, they think of Paolo Maldini. The Italian inscription is honored as one of the best the sport has ever seen.

He played 25 terms for AC Milan, in which he won 25 trophies, proving what a flourishing time Maldini had at his hometown club.

A whopping five European Cups/Champions Leagues and seven Serie A titles for the Rossoneri was, in bit, down to his partnership with Franco Baresi, especially in the 1992/93 season, when the duo only shipped 21 goals.

Just like the 2006 World Cup win came too late for the already-retired Italian, the defender couldn’t get his fingers on the Golden Ball notwithstanding often appearing on all-time lists and being the prototype for defenders to come.

Playing until the age of 40, the club and country leader and pillar of the red side of the San Siro is definitely the greatest defender never to win the Ballon d’Or.


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