Ballon D’Or is the most prestigious Individual honour for a footballer. It is for footballers, what an Oscar is for Actors. But just as some deserving actors never won an Oscar, there are some great footballers who never laid their hands on Ballon D’Or. Here we look at some deserving players who didn’t win the Ballon d’Or.
Let us have a look at the top 15 deserving players who didn’t win the Ballon d’Or –
15. Gigi Buffon
Age seems to hold no precedence over Gigi Buffon given the state of his playing career, now at 40, the legendary Italian continues to announce himself as among the world’s best keepers, commandeering his goalpost with authority and skill.
Having played over a 1000 professional games including 175 caps for Italy, Buffon is no stranger to trophies with eight Scudettos and a FIFA World Cup trophy under his belt amongst others. On a personal note, Buffon’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed; IFFHS conferred him with the award for the Best Goalkeeper of the last 25 years (1987-2012) along with the Best Goalkeeper of the Decade (2000-2010) as well as the Best Goalkeeper of the 21st Century, Buffon also claimed a Golden Foot award in 2016.
However, like every player on this list, he couldn’t lift the Ballon d’Or even once in his illustrious career, coming close with a second place finish at the 2006 ceremony.
14. Alessandro Del Piero
In 1996, a 21-year-old Alessandro Del Piero pulled all the strings and scored six goals as Juventus won the UEFA Champions League, but Europe’s journalists awarded the Ballon d’Or to German Matthias Sammer, with Del Piero not even in the top three. In 1998, Del Piero was Italian Footballer of the Year but lost out on the Ballon d’Or to Juventus teammate Zinedine Zidane (who had just won the World Cup with France).
Alessandro Del Piero’s ability on the ball won admirers all over the world during his time at Juventus, and as he was equally adept at setting up goals as scoring them; he often played behind a main striker. The former Italy international was also an expert from dead-ball situations, and his trademark was cutting in from the left flank and curling the ball into the far corner.
He won virtually every trophy available to him at club level while playing for the Old Lady, as well as the World Cup in 2006, but he has never come close to winning the Ballon d’Or.
13. Bobby Moore
Bobby Moore is up there with the greatest defenders of all time, with perhaps only Franz Beckenbauer being ahead of him. A member of the World Team of the Twentieth Century and the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, Pele described Moore as the greatest defender he ever faced. Moore played most of his club football with West Ham and Fulham before a brief stint in the U.S., and won 108 caps for England, captaining them to a World Cup win in 1966. While England teammate Bobby Charlton won the Ballon d’Or in 1966, Moore had to wait until 1970 to make the top three, when he finished second to Gerd Muller.
12. Kenny Dalglish
Widely regarded as the greatest Liverpool player of all-time, Kenny Dalglish narrowly beat Steven Gerrard to the title in a 2006 supporters poll entitled ‘Players Who Shook The Kop’. Dalglish played for only two clubs during his career, Celtic and Liverpool, and scored 336 goals in 822 games in total. He is Scotland’s most capped player of all-time, with 102 appearances, and their joint top scorer with 30 goals. Dalglish came second in the 1983 Ballon d’Or, but Michel Platini ultimately won the accolade comfortably.
11. Thierry Henry
Henry has achieved god-like status among Arsenal fans for his goal-scoring prowess and technical ability and the French striker is currently the club’s all-time leading goal-scorer.The striker was also a part of the Invincibles, the Arsenal team that went unbeaten for an entire season in the Premier League.
Henry has enjoyed significant success at a domestic level, most notably winning a historic treble with FC Barcelona including the La Liga title, the Copa Del Rey, and the Champions League in 2009. The striker has also done well with the French national team, winning the 1998 World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000, while also surpassing Michel Platini to become France’s top scorer.
Henry came agonizingly close to winning the Ballon d’Or on two instances, coming third in 2006 and finishing as runner-up in 2003.