The History of the Ballon d'Or Visualized

For the first time since 1956, the Ballon d’Or will not be awarded. There will be no recipient of the prestigious award in 2020 per France Football’s decision made earlier today. As Bayern fans, we can be reasonably upset with this decision. This year was Lewandowski’s shot at the coveted Ballon d’Or and he had a legitimate chance this year. Lewa’s campaign has been nothing short of excellent in 2020 and Die Roten have a real shot at adding more silverware to their collection in August.

France Football when they realized Lewa could actually win the Ballon d'Or over Messi:


A decent compromise?

The four usual annual awards will all be cancelled for this year. However, France Football has decided to come up with a ‘Dream Team’ which will establish the sport's all-time best players. This team composed of 11 players will be chosen at the end of the year by 180 juries from all over the world. I'm sure this all-time team is going to spark quite a debate amongst football fans across the world.

As disappointing as this news is, I thought it would be a great time to show some of the history of the prestigious award. I have compiled some data visualizations based off recipients of the award, their positions, their leagues and clubs, as well as the years and number of times they won. This data is from 1956 to 2019 and covers every single year of the trophy's history.

The History of the Ballon d'Or, Visualized:

Ballon d'Or Wins by Player


Before everyone freaks out... yes, Luis Suarez from Barcelona has won a Ballon d'Or. However, it is not the player-biting Luis Suarez you are thinking of.

Ballon d'Or Winners by League and Club


I was stunned by how few times an English club has had a player win the award (6).

Ballon d'Or Wins by Position


You might as well not even think about winning the Ballon d'Or if you are a defender or goalkeeper...

Ballon d'Or Wins by Nationality


As disappointing as this news is, it is only just an award. I can't imagine any Bayern fans being too upset if we win the Champions League but Lewandowski doesn't get his Ballon d'Or. We would all know that he had earned it anyways.

Did any of this data surprise you? Any names you thought would be on the list but weren't (e.g. Maradona)? Let me know your feedback!

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