via Imago

via Imago

The world of soccer has witnessed many legends over the years. Every fan considers that one player his absolute favorite, that’s the player that every fan looks up to. Soccer legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have amassed a major chunk of the soccer fanbase.

The soccer universe will always pay tribute to Pelé. O Rei do Futebol, which translates to “The King of Football,” was Pelé’s nickname. The Brazilian soccer legend was considered one of the greatest players to kick a soccer ball, if not the best.


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However, a few years ago, it was revealed that the Brazilian star has won the same number of Ballon d’Or’s as Lionel Messi. As shocking as this sounds, it is true.

Has Pelé really won seven Ballon d’Ors like Lionel Messi?

The French news outlet truly made some bold claims. They said that the Brazilian soccer legend Pelé had actually won seven of these Ballon d’Ors. However, the records say that ‘The King of Football’ was never nominated for the award ever.

In fact, the Brazilian was never eligible to win the award due to its stringent rules. Till 1995, only players from Europe could be nominated for this prestigious award. Sir Stanley Matthews won the first award in 1956 and the list went on. After the rule changed in 1995, the first player to win the award was George Weah, who was a Liberian.

The Brazilian star never played in Europe. He spent most of his career playing at Santos, a club based in Brazil. He then joined the American-based club, New York Cosmos for the last few years of his career.

In 2016, France Football decided to revisit those years when the Ballon d’Or had such stringent rules. After studying every record and conducting a whole ‘international re-evaluation’ they revealed that the Brazilian legend would have actually won the award seven times in those twelve years.

If Pele was eligible, he would have ended up winning the Ballon d’Or in the years 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, and 1970 respectively.

Read More: “1000 Goals for Who?”: English Fan Claims Brazilian Soccer Legend Pele Was “Overrated”

Even though the Brazilian legend never actually won a Ballon d’Or, in 2014, he was awarded an honorary Ballon d’Or. The late gesture was to thank the legend for his significant contributions to soccer.

Who is leading the Ballon d’Or race? When did it all start?

Argentine soccer legend Lionel Messi leads the Ballon d’Or race after winning seven of them. Cristiano Ronaldo is in second place with five to his name. These two soccer legends have been in their own zone, winning accolades year after year.

In 1956, Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferran established this award. The two sports journalists wanted to award the best soccer player of that year. Soccer journalists would vote and decide the winner.


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via Reuters

After the ‘international re-evaluation’, it was also revealed that Romario, Garrincha, and Mario Kempes would win the award once while Argentine legend Diego Maradona would win the award twice.

While Lionel Messi is currently leading the race, it remains to see if Ronaldo can win two more to equal him.


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Watch this story: Despite Being Only 5% as Rich as Michael Jordan Lionel Messi Once Spent More Money on a Car Than Mj Ever Earned in a Single Active NBA Season

As a soccer fan, who do you think deserved to win the Ballon d’Or but never won it? Let us know in the comments below.