Yearly presentation by the football french magazine to prestigious individual performances, the ballon d’Or awards has been a football tradition since created in 1956 and is seen as one of the huge awards in football. The award has recorded many winners of which its regular subscribers are Lionel Messi of Argentina (6) and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal (5). However, the award has had many nominees as well of which some of which are players you may not know were once nominated for the Ballon d’Or awards.
10 – DONNY VAN DE BEEK (AJAX 2019)
The Dutch central midfielder who currently plays for Manchester United was once upon a time in the lists of the ballon d’Or with a wonderful season in the Erevidse with his duo partner in midfield Frenkie de jong as well with a goal tally of 9 and 10 assists in the dutch league and tearing through the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League. Van de Beek was seen as one of the young promising midfielders in Europe at the time.
9 – RUI PATRICIO (SPORTING CP 2016)
One among the underdog goalkeepers who plays for AS Roma in Italy is known for his save ratio and showed exceeding goalkeeping technique in his days at Sporting Lisbon and winning the Euro cup with Portugal in 2016 as well. Rui was shortlisted in 2016 for his performance in both club and country.
8 – DMITRI PAYET (WESTHAM 2016)
Scoring about 9 goals for Westham and was a threat to opposition defenders in the Euro of 2016. The french skillful attacker was a joyous watch for both club and country. Featured for France in the 2016 Euro finals against Portugal. Payet currently plays for Marseilles in French Ligue 1. Also good at free kicks and quick feet trickery, he was nominated in the Ballon d’Or list of 2016.
7 – MARIO BALOTELLI (MANCHESTER CITY 2012)
The on-look potential who later didn’t live up to his expectations had a good season at Manchester City from 2010 to 2012 before leaving the club due to bad behavior in the team. Balotelli was one of the young promising strikers at the time which landed him nominations after clinching the league title in 2011 with City.
6 – ASAMOAH GYAN (SUNDERLAND 2010)
The Ghanaian striker who came to the Premier league in 2010 and left in 2012 was the lead striker for both Sunderland and Ghana at the time. His goal tally was at about 11 in 36 appearances and also his tremendous performance in the 2010 South Africa world cup while leading the Black stars to their first-ever world cup quarter-finals against Uruguay.
5 – YURI ZHIRKHOV (CSKA MOSCOW 2008)
Yuri Zhirkhov is a Russian footballer who plays for Zenit St Petersburg. The 38-year-old wing-back who can also play as a winger is known for his agility and trackback prowess in the flanks. In 2008/9 he played for CSKA Moscow and attracted big clubs while scoring 16 goals as a wing-back which found him among the names of 2008 ballon d’Or nominees.
4 – TIM CAHILL (EVERTON 2008)
The Australian energetic and clinical striker in his prime days at Millwall and Everton bagged a good number of goals. At Everton from 2005 – 2012, Tim Cahill had a total number of 56 goals for the club. Also could play as an attacking midfielder and from box to box, the striker was a threat for both country and club.
3 – TOMAS ROSISCKY ( B. DORTMUND 2002)
Tomas Rosicky came to light in Sparta Prague in his place of origin before joining Borussia Dortmund and displaying his magnificent creative abilities as an attacking midfielder for the club leaving with a number of 20 goals and heading to Arsenal at the time. Rosicky’s time in Germany with Dortmund landed him on the list of the ballon d’Or nominations in 2002.
2 – JUNICHI INAMOTO (ARSENAL/FULHAM 2002)
The Japanese attacking midfielder had a good start of his career after leaving japan to Arsenal and to fulham and scoring only 4 goals in 41 games for the club in 2002.
1 – EL HADJI DIOUF (LENS/LIVERPOOL 2002)
Diouf is a Senegalese player who specifically plays as an attacker or winger. He was top the charts in his time at Lens football club in France. He registered at about 18 goals in 53 games for Lens with 70 caps and 24 country goals. In 2002, he was shortlisted for the Ballon d’Or nominations for his unwavering strength and performance at Lens.