Messi vs Cristiano: how many Ballon d’Ors have each won?

Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo They have been protagonists of one of the greatest football rivalries in the history of sport. The desire to overcome the opponent has made their careers a historic battle that has been reflected, among other things, in the continuous fight to win the individual prizes that are awarded each year and, especially, the Ballon d’Or.

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Since Cristiano Ronaldo won his first trophy in 2008, between the two footballers they chained the following nine awards until Modric broke the tyranny of both in 2018. But A year later Messi won the Ballon d’Or again and stood alone as the footballer who has won it the most times, seven times, two more than Cristiano Ronaldo, the second with the most trophies.

He has five Ballon d'Ors, the first with the Manchester United shirt and the other four with Real Madrid.


He has five Ballon d’Ors, the first with the Manchester United shirt and the other four with Real Madrid.DANI SANCHEZJOURNAL AS

Ballon d’Or 2008: Cristiano

Cristiano won his first Ballon d’Or the same year he won his first Champions League. He was then playing for Manchester United, of which he was the great star, and with whom he also won the Premier League. Also, that season he scored 42 goals in all competitions and he was top scorer in the Premier, finishing with 31 goals, which also earned him the Golden Boot. Messi was second in the vote and the Spanish Fernando Torres, third.

Ballon d’Or 2009: Messi

The year in which Barcelona won all possible titles with Messi as a great star. The Argentine scored 38 goals that season, including one in the Champions League final against Manchester United by Cristiano, who was second in the vote. This would be the first of the four consecutive Ballon d’Ors that he won between 2009 and 2012. Xavi was third.

Ballon d’Or 2010: Messi

Probably, this year is Messi’s most controversial Ballon d’Or. That year the Spanish team led by Xavi and Iniesta won the World Cup with superb football. The two Spanish midfielders embodied that delicacy of touch football that was nicknamed tiqui-taca and many considered that they were worthy of the Ballon d’Or. But it was for Messi, who scored 47 goals in the season and won the Golden Shoe thanks to his 34 goals in LaLiga. Iniesta and Xavi were second and third respectively.

Ballon d’Or 2011: Messi

Unlike in 2010, this time there was no discussion about the appointment of Messi as the best player of the year. Barcelona conquered LaLiga and the Champions League with the Argentine as a great star. He scored no fewer than 53 goals in the season, including one in the Champions League final against United. Cristiano was second in the voting and Xavi, third.

Ballon d’Or 2012: Messi

Messi became the first player to win four Ballon d’Ors in 2012. That was the highest scoring year of his career and he finished the season scoring 73 goals in all competitions, of which 50 were in LaLiga, absolute record figures that no one has managed to beat yet. With Barça, he only won the Copa del Rey. Once again Cristiano, who won LaLiga with Madrid, was second and Iniesta, who was the great star of the European Championship, was third.

Messi holds the Ballon d'Or on January 15, 2012.


Messi holds the Ballon d’Or on January 15, 2012. Joseph LakeAFP

Ballon d’Or 2013: Cristiano

After four Ballon d’Ors followed by Messi, Cristiano recovered his crown in 2013, in an election that was also quite questionable. Real Madrid did not win any title that season and the goal battle with Messi also lost it, since the Argentine won the Golden Boot after scoring 46 goals in LaLiga for the Portuguese’s 34. His great performance in the play-off for the World Cup a few days before the voting closed was key to the final decision. Messi and Ribery followed him on the podium.

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Ballon d’Or 2014: Cristiano

This time yes, Cristiano was the clear winner of the Ballon d’Or without debate. He won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League with Real Madrid, of which he was also the top scorer that season with 17 goals. In LaLiga he was also proclaimed top scorer thanks to his 31 goals. Messi was again second in the vote and Neuer, after his performance in the World Cup, third.

Ballon d’Or 2015: Messi

Messi would once again extend his lead over Cristiano Ronaldo in 2015. That year, Barcelona won the treble with an excellent Messi, who was also proclaimed top scorer in LaLiga thanks to his 43 goals, which of course also earned him the Golden Boot. His fifth Ballon d’Or was indisputable. Cristiano was second and Neymar entered the podium for the first time.

Ballon d’Or 2016: Cristiano

Winning his third Champions League, once again being the top scorer in the competition and also winning the European Championship with Portugal were the merits that made Cristiano the winner of the 2016 Ballon d’Or, his fourth award. That year, he also scored 51 goals in all competitions. Messi was second in the vote and Griezmann, who lost the Champions League and European Championship finals to Cristiano, was third.

Ballon d’Or 2017: Cristiano

Cristiano managed to match Messi’s five Ballon d’Ors thanks to his excellent 2017. That year the Portuguese won his fourth Champions League, once again as top scorer, including two goals in the final against Juventus, and also won LaLiga with Real Madrid. He finished that season with 42 goals in total. Messi, once again, was second and Neymar, third.

Cristiano Ronaldo posing with the Ballon d'Or.


Cristiano Ronaldo posing with the Ballon d’Or. JOURNAL AS

Ballon d’Or 2019: Messi

Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019 in a year in which he was proclaimed LaLiga champion with Barcelona in a year that also ended as top scorer and Golden Shoe thanks to his 36 goals in domestic competition. With this award, Messi broke the tie with Cristiano, who was third in the voting, and became the first to win six Ballon d’Ors. Liverpool’s Van Dijk came second.

Ballon d’Or 2021: Messi

The Argentine makes history again and wins his seventh Ballon d’Or, after winning the Copa América with Argentina. Lewandowski, Kanté, Jorginho and Benzema were on the list of candidates but not Cristiano Ronaldo, who responded this Monday to some statements by the editor-in-chief of France Football, Pascal Ferré. The current PSG player leaves the Portuguese behind: seven awards for Cristiano’s five.

Modric, in 2018, the exception to this domain

On the other hand, it should also be noted that, until now, there has only been one footballer who has broken the hegemony of the two forwards. Luka Modric, in 2018, managed to give one of the great surprises by winning this award. The Croatian beat footballers like Antoine Griezmann and managed to lift one of the most sought-after individual trophies in the world of football.

He beat Cristiano and Griezmann in the vote and closed a magical 2018.  He is the first Croatian to win it and the eleventh Ballon d'Or for a Real Madrid player.


He beat Cristiano and Griezmann in the vote and closed a magical 2018. He is the first Croatian to win it and the eleventh Ballon d’Or for a Real Madrid player.

Pandemic prevented delivery in 2020

Another of the most particular circumstances in which neither Messi nor Cristiano won the Ballon d’Or. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, France Football, the magazine that delivers the Golden Ball, made the decision not to present this award. This decision generated great controversy, since it was considered in many circles that it should be carried out, and award this award to Robert Lewandowskithen forward of the Bayern Munich.

Robert Lewandowski, one of the most highly regarded strikers in the world.


Robert Lewandowski, one of the most highly regarded strikers in the world. CHRISTOF STACHEAFP

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