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STATS: United Represented With Every Ballon d’Or Winner

Every single player who has won the Ballon d’Or from the English league has played for Manchester United.

1956: Stanley Matthews (Blackpool at the time)
1964: Denis Law
1966: Bobby Charlton
1968: George Best
2001: Michael Owen (Liverpool at the time)
2008: Cristiano Ronaldo

Matthews was a war time guest player for United whilst Owen is a current United player. I realise these links are rather tenuous but it’s a nice little stat regardless.

Nevertheless, it’s impressive that United are so well represented for this award.

1967: Bobby Charlton
1968: Bobby Charlton
1999: David Beckham
2007: Cristiano Ronaldo

1957: Duncan Edwards (21-years-old)
1971: George Best
1993: Eric Cantona

Current Players
2002: Rio Ferdinand (21st)
2004: Wayne Rooney (8th)
2007: Wayne Rooney (26th), Ryan Giggs (30th).
2008: Wayne Rooney (13th), Nemanja Vidic (21st), Edwin Van der Sar (22nd),
2009: Wayne Rooney (8th), Ryan Giggs (14th), Nemanja Vidic (16th).

nb. Sadly, this award is entirely worthless though, as Paul Scholes’ absence proves the best players in Europe aren’t accurately awarded.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Dave Malaysia says:

    @Giles: Ravel comes from a tough neighbourhood and is having problems moving on. We have seen some players from similiar backgrounds make it and some dont,others limp along moving from brilliant to stupid and back.

    Manutd are working with this kid ,seems to be paying off ,maybe this is a setback.

    All we can do is be patient and hope this kid makes it out of that troublesome thinking ,basically matures the right way .

    Giggs and Scholes shud have won the awards in the past but were overlooked. And when Giggs did win something recently some abus went on and on about it.
    Anyone here want to know something about idiotic awards, listen to this.

    The Asian player of the year award is not given to the best asian player as decided by a good system.
    Say for example a player deemed to be the best ,example Park Ji Sung ,he would not get the award cos the ceremony is held during a busy European league season when the best asian players are playing in and cannot just leave for a few days to some asian country for the award dinner and the works. So what they do is to award the player who is in an asia and who can attend the dinner.

    For this weekend every pundit ,ex player and media outlet havent given us a chance.
    If we win it would be brilliant.

    Manchester United winning the battle tommorow Sunday.

    Wolverhampton Wanderers winning thier battle tonight.

    Blackburn Rovers winning thier battle tonight.

    West Ham winning thier battle tonight .

  2. GilesFans says:

    yeah, i hope Ravel can still turn this thing the otherway… it could be such a big waste to give up on a gifted player like that, hope SAF can fix this up…

  3. King Eric says:

    devilnani – Sean McGinty is Irish mate, not Italian!

  4. King Eric says:

    Cannot find anything on Ravel Morrison. Is it just twatter bollocks? Looked in recent weeks to have got his swede down.

  5. willierednut says:

    King Eric – lol, the names a bit of a give away.

  6. C.Hughesmufc says:

    Lad needs to be giving a good old fashioned kick in the arse. . . .
    Since he was 14 been called the next Ronaldo but he’d rather be the next Tony Montana. . . .

    Just goes to show takes more than talent to make it as a footballer. . . .

  7. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Absolute class that United have this tradition. Surrounding the lads with icons of the game inspires the best out of some, as I believe is the case with the likes of to Giggs and Scholes. Make no mistake, Beckham making 3rd place was an inspiration and a fantastic achievement. Other lads can’t take the pressure, the expectation, and they leave (Foster). Others view it as a pilar of acheivment and strive to be better (Nani Chicharito).
    I posted a couple of days ago that Owen was a Ballon D’Or Winner from 2001 when folks were slagging him. That level of class should be valued at this club. He is playing out of his skin when he gets a game and should get a new contract. In my view as his attitude and mentorship of the youngsters is as much of what this club is about as anything.
    As to Winning the BdO, it is political. Most all the recent winners have been either on a WC winning team or won the European cup. If we want our lads on the list, we just have to be at the top of Europe. Simple as.

  8. smartalex says:

    Quality from FletchTHEMAN!

  9. devilnani says:

    @king eric
    Sorry.. My bad.. Switched him with massaci..

  10. King Eric says:

    devilnani – Ha. No worries mate!

  11. King Eric says:

    willie – Hello mate. What did you mean? Sorry didn’t understand. “twatter”??

  12. Gee says:

    @ King Eric

    I think Willie meant McGinty’s name was a bit of a give away to where he was from mate!!

    Im thinking that this Ravel Morrison Twitter rumour is just bollocks!!

  13. Balls Of Steel says:

    Sadly, this award is entirely worthless though, as Paul Scholes’ absence proves the best players in Europe aren’t accureately awarded.

    Very true …. Wesley Sneijder

  14. smartalex says:

    Someone unravel this morose twittering.

  15. King Eric says:

    Gee – Aaah. Thanks pal!

  16. mattbw7 says:

    this morrison story is all bollocks, I wish our fans would stop posting stuff about our players based on unsubstantiated rumours ffs you should know better!

  17. nic says:

    wheres keegan

  18. The team that wouldn't die says:

    United at 10:40
    I agree with your comment. But didn’t Scholes score 20+ goals in 2002/03 and generally played amazing? Success in Europe seems to be the key to be considered among the top 3.
    Scholes is our genius. We know his worth! A truly special player unlike anyone else.

  19. United says:

    The 2003 Ballon D’Or was won by Pavel Nedved who had 14 goals and helped take his team to win the Champions League, so yea success in Europe is important. I mean, beating crap like City (heh) is one thing, but beating Europe’s best is something else

    That is probably the only season I think where he could have won it, but our horror show in Madrid probably worked against him. That 3-1 still sticks in the memory

  20. kel says:

    WOW. Nice stats!! DIdnt realise it till now!

  21. willierednut says:

    Juventus lost the champions league final against Milan in 03, Nedved was suspended for the final anyway.

  22. Dave Malaysia says:


  23. Giles Oakley says:

    Anyone know where Ralphie Milne came in the rankings?

  24. smartalex says:

    Scott the Red
    I have tried unsuccessfully to research the answer to:

    Giles Oakley says:
    Anyone know where Ralphie Milne came in the rankings?

    Please can you reply here with (or without) the answer so I know whether to continue.

  25. Onside says:

    The fact that Scholes has never been rewarded proves he’s not as great as you imagine him to be.

  26. smartalex says:

    Do you even know what Onside is? Perhaps you are your own imaginary friend.
    Your argument is spurious (3rd time today!)


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