7 Players Who Would've Won The Ballon d'Or If Not For Messi & Ronaldo
7 Players Who Would've Won The Ballon d’Or If Not For Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the Ballon d'Or for the past nine years, while these players missed out on the award. Check out which seven stars would have won the Golden Ball had Messi and Ronaldo not been around.
Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see which unlucky stars missed out on the Ballon d'Or.
The new Ballon d'Or shortlist will be revealed by France Football on Monday, while FIFA The Best Men’s Player of the Year award winner will be announced on 23 October after the French publication and the football's world governing body split up last year.
Messi and Ronaldo have dominated both awards since 2008, with Brazilian Kaka being the last to claim the prestigious individual prize before the current reign of the two superstars, as pointed out by the Daily Mirror.
Back in 2008, Ronaldo lifted his first Golden Ball, while Messi finished in second place and Fernando Torres, who had just scored Spain to their first ever UEFA European Championship title, missed out.
The next three years saw Messi lift the award, with his former teammate Xavi Hernandez being the unlucky player who finished behind the Argentine – in 2009 and 2011 in third place behind Messi and Ronaldo, and in second spot to the Argentine in 2010.
In 2012, another FC Barcelona star must count himself unlucky, with Andres Iniesta finishing in third spot behind Messi and Ronaldo, despite lifting the UEFA European Championship title with Spain.
Another year later, it was Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery who finished in third spot behind the two superstars despite being instrumental in his sides' treble-winning campaign.
In 2014, Manuel Neuer led Germany to the FIFA World Cup title in Brazil and won the domestic double, but his heroics weren't enough to see him become only the second goalkeeper to be named World Footballer of the Year. Instead, he saw Ronaldo lift the award, while Messi followed in second place on the podium.
Two years ago, it was Neymar's first appearance among the final three, but his then teammate Messi lifted his fifth Golden Ball, once again with Ronaldo in second place.
Last year, Antoine Griezmann was the unlucky third despite being named as the 2016 UEFA European Championship Player of the Tournament. The Frenchman was another star to finish behind Ronaldo, who claimed his fourth award, and Messi in third spot.
While France Football will announce its Ballon d'Or shortlist on Monday, Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar are once again the final three nominees for FIFA's award for the World Footballer of the Year, which is now known as "The Best Men's Player of the Year" accolade.
Which footballer do you think can end the Messi-Ronaldo reign? Have your say in the comments section below.