Gianluigi Buffon reveals why he has never won the Ballon d'Or

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Winning the Ballon d’Or requires a player to perform remarkably for an entire year.

In 2012, for instance, Lionel Messi won the award by a landslide after scoring 91 goals in the calendar year.

Admittedly, attacking players are favoured ahead of defensive ones. Fabio Cannavaro became only the third defender to win the award in its history (the inaugural ceremony was in 1956) when he received the majority of votes in 2006, and whether he would have won it or not had Italy not lifted the World Cup is very much debatable.


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There are some fantastic players who have never won the coveted award, including Paolo Maldini, Andres Iniesta, Ryan Giggs and Romario, and Gianluigi Buffon can include himself among those names.

The Juventus goalkeeper celebrated his ninth Serie A title by signing a two-year contract extension with the Old Lady on Wednesday but he’s never got his hands on a Ballon d’Or trophy.

There is only one goalkeeper who has won the award - Lev Yashin, in 1963 - and, if talent was the only factor, Buffon would have become the second at some point.

The 38-year-old has been named Serie A’s Goalkeeper of the Year 10 times. Yeah, he’s that good.

Honest admission

During the announcement of his contract extension, the Italy ‘keeper discussed the trophy that has avoided his grasp (the Champions League has, too) and admitted that he hasn’t done enough to win it.

Buffon wasn’t even nominated for the Ballon d’Or last season but, in modest fashion, doesn’t bear any grudges.

“In all honestly I don’t feel any sense of injustice about the Ballon d’Or,” Buffon insisted, per Football Italia.

“I know I’ve had a brilliant career, I know I’ve come close a few times, and deservedly so, I think.

“But I also know that if I didn’t win, it means I didn’t do enough. That’s the only truth, you can’t start looking for bad faith or other things.

“The fault is only mine, because I should have done better in certain situations.”

Buffon is probably alluding to the Champions League finals of 2003 and 2015 and the Euro 2012 final.

Near misses

Those are the two trophies that have eluded the Italian, Juventus losing the 2003 Champions League final to AC Milan on penalties.

He can have few complaints about last season’s final - the Old Lady were beaten by an incredible Barcelona team - and in the 2012 European Championship final, Italy were outclassed by Spain.

Buffon’s career is winding down but he still has his sights firmly set on winning the European trophy.

He said after announcing the extension: “I want to emphasise the fact that the path we’re on together is one of strength, with everyone coming together to try and improve and get to the dream and the objective we’re all aiming for [the Champions League].

“I think I can reach it with my teammates and this great club which makes us feel secure. In the end the real truth is that player can only express himself at great levels when working with a group, and when there are people behind the scenes who know their stuff.

“I think everyone knows my history with Juventus, I hope it will end in the best way and with more successes.”

Is it unfair that goalkeepers and defenders aren't recognised as much as attackers in the Ballon d'Or? Let us know in the comments section below!

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