Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are two of the most successful players in European football history. These two legends are sharing 11 Ballons d’Or awards.
It is often argued that the Argentine and Portuguese stars deserved all the golden balls they won. Let’s look at 2008-2011:
2008 – Fernando Torres
2008 was the best year of Fernando Torres’ career. He has scored 33 goals in 46 appearances for Liverpool this season, his best individual result. At the end of the season, he was named Liverpool’s player of the season and named one of the best teams in the Premier League, UEFA and FIFA seasons.
In the summer of 2008, Torres won the European Championship. He was even named the best player of the final and scored the goal in the German goal, which won the tournament in Spain. After Ronaldo and Messi, Fernando Torres received the most votes for the 2008 Golden Ball award.
2009 – Xavi
In 2009, Barcelona became the first Spanish team to win a treble, and the Ballon d’Or was awarded to Lionel Messi. However, Xavi’s contribution was also great.
Xavi has made the most assists this season in La Liga (22) and the Champions League (9), making him the best midfielder in La Liga and the Champions League this season. The IFFHS named him the World Player of the Year award. On the Ballon d’Or, Messi and Ronaldo received the most (170) votes.
2010 – Iniesta
The year 2010 started very hard for Iniesta, but it ended perfectly. Unless the physical and psychological traumas that led to Iniesta’s club season and World Cup start, the Spanish legend might even have won the Ballon d’Or.
Iniesta finished the World Cup perfectly and scored the winning goal in the final. But the award was eventually given to Lionel Messi.
2011 – Xavi
The 2010/11 season was the first big duel between Messi and Ronaldo. The Portuguese and Argentine scored the same, 53-53 goals. But Messi managed to win the Champions League and La Liga, while Ronaldo only won the Copa del Rey.
Xavi scored the most important goals against Real Madrid and Arsenal in 2011. On January 2, he played his 549th match for Barcelona, earning the most matches in the history of the club.
The Spaniard finished the season with 5 goals and 15 goals, one of which he played in one of the Champions League finals at the crucial time. At the end of the year, after Messi and Ronaldo, Xavi took third place in the ranking of the golden ball.