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Super Ballon d’Or: All You Need To Know

Commentators, fans and journalists are beginning to run out of words to describe Lionel Messi, particularly since the Argentina great won his first World Cup in Qatar.

But there is now talk that he could be awarded the Super Ballon d’Or to recognise his achievements, something that has happened only once before and that was 33 years ago. 

Nothing is official yet, but here we take a look at what might be involved.

What is the Super Ballon d’Or?

The Ballon d’Or is awarded every year by France Football magazine to the best player in European football and the first winner was Stanley Matthews in 1956. 

The roll of honour since that time reads like a who’s who of football greats and Messi has won the award himself seven times, which is a record. 

However, in 1989, the Super Ballon d’Or was awarded for the first and only time, to recognise the greatest player of the previous 30 years. 

Dutch great Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini, who had led France to win the European Championships five years previously, were said to have been considered. 

Both players won the main award three times, Cruyff taking it in 1971, 1972 and 1974, while Platini won it three years in a row from 1983-1985. 

However, the player who got the vote for the Super Ballon d'Or was Alfredo di Stefano.

Who was Alfredo di Stefano?

Like Messi, Alfredo di Stefano was born in Argentina, but the Real Madrid great was handed a Spanish passport when the country was under the rule of General Franco, and qualified for the prize as a result. 

He was part of the Real team that won the first six European Cups and he scored a hat-trick in the famous 7-3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960. 

Di Stefano won eight La Liga titles while scoring 308 goals in 396 appearances for Madrid and he won the regular Ballon d’Or twice himself.

Why is Messi under consideration for the Super Ballon d'Or?

As already highlighted, Messi has won a record seven Ballon d’Or titles and there is little doubt there would have been many more had it not been for his chief rival to be the world’s greatest player in recent times, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has won five himself.

Messi has been runner-up on five occasions and with his two goals in the final against France now meaning he finally has his hands on a World Cup winners medal, he has won virtually every honour in the game. 

He has scored 799 goals for both his club and country and won the hearts of Argentinians everywhere by the way he has embraced the national team in recent years, also helping them to Copa America success in 2021 after a 28-year wait for continental success. 

Their World Cup win was the third time that Argentina have been crowned champions and they will be looking to become the first country to retain the trophy since Brazil did it in 1962 when the next global extravaganza takes place in the USA, Mexico and Canada in 2026. 

Argentina are 9/1 To Win Outright in 2026, with beaten finalists in Qatar, France, 9/2 to claim their third triumph. Brazil are 6/1 and England are available at 8/1.

What happens now with the Super Ballon d’Or?

There has been no official announcement that the Super Ballon d’Or will be awarded again, but there is likely to be lots of pressure to acknowledge Messi’s huge achievements. 

That will grow if he helps his club Paris Saint-Germain to another French title this year - they are just 1/66 to win Ligue 1 - so we all await an announcement from France Football to see if they will bestow another personal honour on the Argentinian great. 

Messi has already broken so many records and his World Cup winners’ medal seems like the icing on the cake, so let’s see if he gains what would be the ultimate accolade.

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