Karim Benzema is set to pick up the 2022 Ballon d’Or in October.
France Football changed the criteria meaning that performance in the previous domestic season will now be considered rather than a calendar year.
Having scored 44 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions, helping Real Madrid win La Liga and the Champions League, Benzema looks certain to win the award for the first time.
In 2021, Messi claimed the individual accolade for a seventh time while Benzema’s former Real Madrid teammate, Ronaldo, has won it on five occasions.
While we know how many Ballons d’Or each player has won, we know the question you’re all thinking…
Who has won the most Ballon d’Or points in history?
If you weren’t already aware, international journalists, coaches and captains vote for their first, second and third best player of the calendar year. They are worth five points, three points and one point respectively.
With an increase of voters, there are now more points up for grabs hence why you may be surprised at some of the names featured on the list. For example, when finishing second in 2019, Virgil van Dijk earned 679 points while the very first winner, Stanley Matthews in 1956, earned just 47 points.
It means the list of players who have picked up the most Ballon d’Or points has a rather modern feel to it. But there are no prizes for guessing which two players are the top two…
So, without further ado, here are the 10 players with the most Ballon d’Or points in history:
10. Kaka: 550 points
Winner of the 2007 Ballon d’Or before the Messi/Ronaldo duolopy.
9. Michel Platini: 551 points
As a player, Platini won the Ballon d’Or three times in 1983, 1984 and 1985.
8. Franz Beckenbauer: 576 points
Beckenbauer is credited for inventing the libero role. It earned him two Ballon d’Ors in 1972 and 1976.
7. Ronaldo: 600 points
Despite all the knee injuries, Ronaldo still managed to win two Ballon d’Or awards in 1997 and 2002.
6. Robert Lewandowski – 672 points
Lewandowski deserved the 2020 award and would be third in the list if that edition had gone ahead and he presumably won. Instead, he picked up a massive 580 points in 2021, narrowly losing out to Messi.
5. Virgil van Dijk: 679 points
The second player in this list who hasn’t actually won the Ballon d’Or before. The Liverpool star did come within a few points of beating Messi in 2019, though.
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 in 1997.
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.
2. Lionel Messi: 3,574 points
He may have seven Ballons d’Or 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, 2019 and 2021 Messi finished second on five occasions and third once.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 3,781 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.
So, Ronaldo is the Ballon d’Or GOAT having picked up more points than Messi?
Unsurprisingly, there isn’t much between the two players. There never is, is there?
In fact, Messi could overtake Ronaldo come October if he picks up substantially more votes than the Portuguese superstar.
However, after the pair suffered disappointing campaigns with Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United respectively, we don’t think they’ll be getting many points at all in 2022.