The World Cup trophy, the Big Ears, the Ballon d’Or, The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, the European Golden Shoe… These are some of the most prized trophies in football. Every footballer would love to win at least one of these.
The Rarity of Super Ballon d'Or
But there’s one trophy footballers don’t even dream of, not because it’s worthless – in fact, it is one of the most valuable trophies ever – but because it is so rare!
Introduction to the Super Ballon d'Or
Is the Ballon d’Or the most prestigious individual award in football? Think again. There is an award called the Super Ballon d’Or, and the name alone tells you that it is a more valuable and higher-ranked trophy than the Ballon d’Or itself. Today, we will notify you all you need to know about this super rare and valuable trophy.
The Rarity Unveiled: 1989 Appearance
You probably have never heard about the Super Ballon d’Or, and that’s because of how rare it is. France Football has only ever brought this one out from the museum once, which was way back in 1989, over three decades ago.
Alfredo Di Stefano: The First Super Ballon d'Or Winner
The Super Ballon d’Or was brought out to reward the player who had been the best in the world in the previous three decades. Since it was handed out in 1989, the award was given to the player selected as the best since the Ballon d’Or was first given out in 1956.
Di Stefano's Triumph
Selection Process and Achievements of Di Stefano
The winner was chosen by combining votes from France Football’s jury, viewers and readers, and former Ballon d’Or winners. Di Stefano won in 2 of those polls, while Michel Platini was top in the viewers and readers rankings. For those who never got to watch Di Stefano play and, as such, don’t know how good he was, here’s a quick breakdown of what he achieved as a player: he won 5 European Cups BACK-TO-BACK, 5 Pichichi Trophies, 8 La Liga titles, and 2 Ballon d’Or awards, among others.
Di Stefano's Legacy
Although he retired in the ’60s, Di Stefano is still the 6th highest goalscorer in La Liga history and Real Madrid’s highest goalscorer in El Clasico history. He was respected by his peers and revered by fans. This man was so good that he represented both Argentina and Spain on the international stage.
Auctioning the Trophy: 2021
So, it wasn’t much of a surprise when the Super Ballon d’Or was handed to the Spanish-Argentine forward about 23 years after he had retired for being the best player of the previous three decades. Having played for Real Madrid for 11 years, establishing himself as a legend there, Di Stefano decided to place the Super Ballon d’Or trophy in the Real Madrid museum. The trophy was there until 2021, when the children of the great footballer agreed to auction it off seven years after his demise. The trophy was sold for 187,500 pounds, and since that auction, the whereabouts of the trophy have remained unknown.
Sole Appearance of Super Ballon d'Or
Remember that that’s the only Super Ballon d’Or that France Football has ever brought out. Well, considering they said that that trophy was to reward the best player of the previous three decades, we naturally expected that 30 years later, France Football would bring it out again, but 2019 passed, and we didn’t see the Super Ballon d’Or.
Speculation on the Absence: Balancing Act?
The Super Ballon d’Or was given 33 years after the first Ballon d’Or was given, so what if France Football just wanted to balance things out? Well, 2022 passed, and still nothing. France Football has not said anything about the Super Ballon d’Or since the first, and only one so far was given, so it’s unclear whether giving out another award is even in the works.
Future Winners: 1990 Onwards
But hey, if they ever decide to bring out the rarest trophy in football history once again, who would win it? As we have already established, the last one was given out in 1989; therefore, the winner of the next one will be chosen from players who played between 1990 and the present. And of course, the 90s produced a lot of superstars who won the Ballon d’Or, from one-time winners like Zinedine Zidane, Rivaldo, and Ronaldinho to 2-time winners like Ronaldo Nazario. All these guys will be in the running for the rare prize.
Dominance of Messi and Ronaldo
But if we’re all being sincere, if the Super Ballon d’Or ever comes out again, the winner would be either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. These two dominated football for almost two decades and are arguably the greatest players in history. More specifically, as far as the Ballon d’Or is concerned, these are the most successful players, and by some distance. There are 12 Ballon d’Or awards, which could rise to 13 if Messi successfully claimed his 8th prize this year.
Messi's Potential 8th Ballon d'Or: A Deciding Factor?
If Messi wins his 8th Ballon d’Or, it would be a no-brainer to give the Super Ballon d’Or to him, considering he’d now have three more than Ronaldo. Remember that the Super Ballon d’Or is more complex. Cruyff and Platini won more Ballon d’Or awards than Di Stefano, but the former Real Madrid man beat both in the aggregate polls.
Uncertainty of the Award
If the Super Ballon d’Or is brought out again, the votes would be opened to viewers and readers, former Ballon d’Or winners, and the France Football jury. And if this happens, the award can be anybody’s. You just cannot be too sure.
Reader Participation: Your Choice
But hey, if the Super Ballon d’Or was being awarded today and you were responsible for determining the winner, who would be holding that trophy in his hand? Tell us in the comments.
Closing Note to France Football
And before we go, a quick note to France Football. If ever you bring the Super Ballon d’Or back, please change what the trophy looks like.