1. 1996 – 1 point
Matthias Sammer was a fine sweeper. Approaching the end of his career, he was part of a successful mid-90s Dortmund team that won two Bundesliga titles, two DFL-Supercups and a Champions League title. This was a fitting end to a career as he would retire a couple of years after winning this award.
The runner up, by just a single point, was Brazilian sensation Ronaldo. 1996 was the year he really made his mark in European club football as he had a single yet prolific season with FC Barcelona. He would go on to win it twice and finish third in the voting once.