Earlier, journalists could vote only for European players playing in Europe, meaning players like Pele and Diego Maradona were ineligible for the award. In 1995, non-European players playing in Europe were also made eligible for Ballon d’Or award.
In 2007, the rule changed once again. Any player in the world was made eligible for the award, irrespective of the football league, they are playing in . The number of voting journalists also increased that time.
The Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Player of the year were merged in 2010 and became the FIFA Ballon d’Or. It is awarded based on votes by coaches and captains of international teams as well journalists from around the world. However, the partnership ended in 2016, and the award reverted to the Ballon d’Or, while FIFA also reverted to its own separate annual award (now named The Best FIFA Men’s Player).
Till 2019, sixty-four times the best football player of the globe were voted for this coveted award. So, which country or players from which country did receive the award maximum time?
Following are the ten countries, which have won this award most – in ascending order.
10. Spain – 3 times
|Alfredo Di Stefano
|1957 and 1959
Although DI Stefano was the first Spaniard to win the award in 1957. He was an Argentine by birth, but adopted Spain as his country. He was second recipient of Ballon d’Or. Di Stefano won the award a second time in 1959.
The second and the last Spaniard (as on the date of publication )to win the award was Luis Suarez in 1960.