Messi, Ronaldo, Zidane, Cruyff: Greatest Ballon d’Or winning XI in football history

Imagine making a combined XI based solely upon the players that won the most Ballon d’Or trophies throughout their career.

Each position would be filled with their most prominent Ballon d’Or recipient.

Which, given how rare it is for a player to even receive the coveted award, would ensure that only the finest to ever do it make the cut.

Now, unless you’re some kind of whiz kid when it comes to Ballon d’Or history – and touche if you are – creating such a team might take some research.

However, fortunately for us, our trusted pals over at Transfermarkt have saved everyone the trouble.

Shared to their Instagram account, the football media page posted a graphic detailing what the most Ballon d’Or heavy XI in football history would look like… and it’s some team.

The 11 players mopped up a combined total of 28 selections as the world’s finest across their careers, therefore it’s hardly surprising that it’s comfortably one of the best dreamed up sides you’ll ever see.

Check the team out for yourself below.

The greatest Ballon d’Or winning XI in history

GK: Lev Yashin (1x Ballon d’Or)

CB: Matthias Sammer (1x Ballon d’Or)
CB: Franz Beckenbauer (2x Ballon d’Or)
CB: Fabio Cannavaro (1x Ballon d’Or)

CDM: Lothar Matthaus (1x Ballon d’Or)
CM: Michel Platini (3x Ballon d’Or)
CM: Zinedine Zidane (1x Ballon d’Or)
RM: Lionel Messi (7x Ballon d’Or)
LM: Cristiano Ronaldo (5x Ballon d’Or)

ST: Johan Cruyff (3x Ballon d’Or)
ST: Marco van Basten (3x Ballon d’Or)

Credit: Transfermarkt Instagram

What. A. Team.

The midfield and attack are quite honestly to die for, with all seven players firmly cemented in the footballing echelons for their greatness – led of course, by the great Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Whilst Beckenbauer provides the stand-out option in the defence after sweeping two Ballon d’Or awards, a record for anyone that’s not a midfield or forward.

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Admittedly, you can’t help but look at Sammer and even Cannavaro without wondering why on earth Paolo Maldini isn’t filling one of those positions.

But with the iconic Yashin bringing up the rear it’s doubtful they’d need the perfect defence anyway – simply unplayable.