Messi or Ronaldo: Which player has earned the most Ballon d'Or points in history?

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Robert Lewandowski must have been gutted when France Football announced the 2020 Ballon d’Or was cancelled.

In July, the award organisers released a statement which read: "We did not want to put an indelible asterisk on the prize list as 'a trophy won in exceptional circumstances due to the health crisis of Covid-19.'

"Protecting the credibility and legitimacy of such a prize also means guaranteeing its irreproachability over time."

The Pole went on to win the Bundesliga and Champions League, finishing the 2019/20 season with 55 goals in 47 matches.

If the award took place, Lewandowski would surely have got his hands on it.

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Instead, Messi remains the holder after winning his sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019. We all know the Argentine has won the most Ballon d’Or awards but who has won the most Ballon d’Or points in history?

Well, YouTuber StatsTube has calculated the accumulated number of points each player has received between 1956 up until 2019. He’s produced a graph to illustrate the accumulation of points throughout the years.

For the award, international journalists and coaches vote for their first, second and third best player of the calendar year. They are worth five points, three points and one point. Before 2015, percentages rather than points were used, which is why the likes of Luka Modric and Virgil van Dijk make the top 10…

Let’s take a look:

10. Johan Cruyff: 506 points

The Dutch legend won the Ballon d’Or three times during his career - 1971, 1973 and 1974 - as well as coming third in 1975. A true footballing pioneer.

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9. Kaka: 550 points

Winner of the 2007 Ballon d’Or before the Messi/Ronaldo duolopy. It’s easy to forget just how good he was in his prime.

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8. Michel Platini: 551 points

Has ruined his reputation in recent years but, as a player, Platini won the Ballon d’Or three times in 1983, 1984 and 1985.

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7. Franz Beckenbauer: 576 points

Beckenbauer was something of a revolutionary figure, making that libero role his own. It earned him two Ballon d’Ors in 1972 and 1976.

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6. Ronaldo: 600 points

If it wasn’t for the knee injuries, Ronaldo would be in the GOAT conversation. As it was, he just had to settle for two Ballon d’Or wins in 1997 and 2002.

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5. Virgil van Dijk: 679 points

The only player in this list who hasn’t actually won the Ballon d’Or before. He did come within a few points of beating Messi in 2019, though.

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4. Zinedine Zidane: 715 points

After helping France win the 1998 World Cup, Zidane won the Ballon d’Or later that year. He had finished third the previous year.

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3. Luka Modric: 837 points

The man who broke up Messi and Ronaldo’s dominance of the award in 2018 after helping Croatia reach the World Cup final.

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2. Lionel Messi: 2,961 points

He may have six Ballon d’Ors to his name but Messi hasn’t picked up the most amount of points in the voting. Other than winning it in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019, Messi finished second on five occasions and third once.

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1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 3,601 points

So, Ronaldo has racked up the most Ballon d’Or points in history. He’s won the award five times (2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017) and has finished runner-up six times. Like Messi, he’s also finished third.

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