Last Premier League player to win Ballon d’Or: Erling Haaland chasing football’s top prize

Manchester City’s top scorer is too busy scoring more goals to be thinking about awards, but Erling Haaland’s spectacular 2022-23 season will put him in contention again for the 2023 Ballon d’Or.

The Premier League newcomer scored 36 of his 52 goals for City in the league and continued the international form that has seen him score 24 goals in 25 games so far for Norway.

Haaland could now become the first player in 15 years from the English top flight to win the most prestigious individual award in football.

Here are the players from the division to have won previous editions of the Ballon d’Or, as well as more details on the award.

MORE: What happened to Neymar? The sad story of PSG failure and ill-fated chase for the Ballon d’Or

Who was the last Premier League player to win the Ballon d’Or?

Karim Benzema’s win last year came after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi had won all but one of the previous 13 titles.

Ronaldo remains the last player to have won while operating in the Premier League because of his first honour, which came during his first spell at Manchester United in 2008.

Others have gone close: City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne came third last year, as did Chelsea’s Jorginho in 2021 – although they were both a long distance behind respective winners Benzema and Messi in points terms.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk missed out to Messi by only seven points in 2019, and Ronaldo (United), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Fernando Torres (Liverpool) and Thierry Henry (Arsenal) have all finished in the top three since the Reds’ Michael Owen prevailed in 2001.

The Premier League in its current guise did not exist when a player from the division previously won the Ballon d’Or. Northern Ireland legend George Best played for Man United in the First Division – the original name for the Premier League – in 1968.

Best was the third player for an English club to win in five years, following Bobby Charlton in 1966 and Denis Law in 1964, both of whom were also partly rewarded for their achievements at United.

Law was the next representative of English teams to win after Stanley Matthews, the inaugural Ballon d’Or recipient in 1956. Striker Matthews had helped Blackpool – currently a third-tier team – finish as First Division runners-up.

Here is the full list of Ballon d’Or winners who played for Premier League or old First Division teams at the time.

Year Player Team
1956 Stanley Matthews Blackpool
1964 Denis Law Man United
1966 Bobby Charlton Man United
1968 George Best Man United
2001 Michael Owen Liverpool
2008 Cristiano Ronaldo Man United

When is Ballon d’Or 2023?

The shortlist of nominees for the award will be confirmed on September 6, 2023, with the Ballon d’Or ceremony taking place on October 30, 2023.

The Ballon d’Or will continue its updated policy of taking into account performances across a season (August-July) and not a calendar year (January-December).

Who votes for Ballon d’Or in 2023?

For the men’s Ballon d’Or award, votes are cast by 180 journalists from around the world, with each representing a different country.

They are asked to rank their top five players from the 30-man shortlist in order of merit. The player ranked first receives five points, the second four points, and so on. 

The overall winner is confirmed by the player with the most total points from the votes. In the unlikely event of a tie, the winner is whoever has most first-place votes. 

Journalists will be instructed that individual performances should form the basis of their votes, with team trophies a secondary factor. 

Favourites to win Ballon d’Or 2023

Messi has long been the favourite to win the Ballon d’Or 2023 despite his departure from PSG and the Parisians’ failure to win the Champions League in 2022/23.

However, his incredible leadership of Argentina to the 2022 World Cup title will be a crucial factor, alongside 20 goals for PSG in his farewell campaign.

Haaland is the second-favourite to win the award for the first time on the back of a sensational maiden season with Pep Guardiola’s side.

MORE: Ballon d’Or odds 2023 as Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland top list of candidates for football award

Previous Ballon d’Or winners

Dutch giant Johan Cruyff became the first player to win the award three times in the 1970s. French star Michel Platini won three in a row — the first to achieve that feat — in the 1980s.

More recently, Messi beat Robert Lewandowski by a narrow margin for his seventh trophy in 2021.

Year Player Club
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 Johann Cruyff Ajax
1972 Franz Beckenbauer Bayern Munich
1973 Johann Cruyff Barcelona
1974 Johann Cruyff Barcelona
1975 Oleg Blokhin Dynamo Kyiv
1976 Franz Beckenbauer Bayern Munich
1977 Allan Simonsen Gladbach
1978 Kevin Keegan Hamburg
1979 Kevin Keegan Hamburg
1980 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Bayern Munich
1981 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge Bayern Munich
1982 Paolo Rossi Juventus
1983 Michel Platini Juventus
1984 Michel Platini Juventus
1985 Michel Platini Juventus
1986 Igor Belanov Dynamo Kyiv
1987 Ruud Gullit AC Milan
1988 Marco van Basten AC Milan
1989 Marco van Basten AC Milan
1990 Lothar Matthaus Inter Milan
1991 Jean-Pierre Papin Marseille
1992 Marco van Basten AC Milan
1993 Roberto Baggio Juventus
1994 Hristo Stoichkov Barcelona
1995 George Weah AC Milan
1996 Mathias 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
2010 Lionel Messi Barcelona
2011 Lionel Messi Barcelona
2012 Lionel Messi Barcelona
2013 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
2014 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
2015 Lionel Messi Barcelona
2016 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
2017 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid
2018 Luka Modric Real Madrid
2019 Lionel Messi Barcelona
2020 Cancelled due to pandemic
2021 Lionel Messi PSG
2022 Karim Benzema Real Madrid

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