8 Stars Who Missed Out on Winning the Ballon d'Or Due to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

The Ballon d'Or winner this year is all set to be announced on Monday night with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luka Modric, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane set to fight it out for the coveted individual crown this year.


In the build-up to the massive gala, we take a look at eight great and some may say, deserving footballers who did not win the Ballon d'Or in the past due to Messi and Ronaldo's domination.

8. Andres Iniesta

Barcelona legend and World Cup winner for Spain, Andres Iniesta is the kind of player who is loved by almost all fans, no matter which club they support.


Back in 2012, Iniesta won UEFA's Best European footballer award as well as the Best Player in the Champions League award.


However, he narrowly missed out on winning the Ballon d'Or twice in his illustrious career, finishing second in 2010 and third in 2012.

7. Xavi Hernandez

One of Spain and Barcelona's all time greats, Xavi Hernandez has to be in the top 10 of best midfielders to have ever played the game.


Having won every single major trophy there is for club and country, the Spanish legend truly deserved atleast one individual honour in his illustrious career.


Xavi's vision, passing, ball control and composure are the four pillars on which Barcelona's La Masia is built. The Spaniard was the heartbeat of Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side that won every single trophy there was to win in 2011 and Xavi did everything that season to be worthy of winning the Ballon d'Or as he was arguably the best footballer on the planet at that time.


However, his club teammate Lionel Messi claimed the Ballon d'Or that year with Cristiano Ronaldo coming in second and Xavi himself coming third.

6. Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer made a very strong case for winning the Ballon d'Or in 2014, which was by far the best year of his career. After winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich just a season before, Neuer led Germany in their famous FIFA World Cup glory in 2014 in Brazil.


However, he too, ended up in third position, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo with the Portuguese hitman claiming the prize again.

5. Franck Ribery

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery had the greatest of chances to break Messi and Ronaldo's duopoly by winning the Ballon d'Or in 2013 after his incredible performances in Bayern's treble winning season.


However, he could not win the coveted crown as Ronaldo claimed the prize with Messi coming in second position followed by Ribery himself. Following the awards, Ribery slammed the awards, calling them political.

4. Wesley Sneijder

Dutch maestro Wesley Sneijder was the absolute favourite to win the Ballon d'Or in 2010. Sneijder was the reason why Inter Milan won the famous treble under Jose Mourinho. 


Additionally, he starred for the Netherlands as they reached the World Cup final and was definitely tipped to be in the top three that year.


However, Sneijder was completely ignored from the top three list as Xavi, Iniesta and Messi made the final cut. Even Xavi was unhappy with Sneijder's exclusion from the top three. 


He stated, "As for Sneijder, I know that in Italy they are angry because he is not one of the finalists. I can only agree with them. The Dutchman has had a fantastic year." 

3. Andrea Pirlo

One of the most technically brilliant players to have ever graced the beautiful game, Andrea Pirlo ran the show for Italy and Juventus in 2010 and he kept on performing at the very top level till 2014.


He almost single-handedly took Italy to the Euro 2012 final. Apart from that, Pirlo was an integral part of Juventus' revival and rise in the Serie A as he established himself as the world's best central midfielders under Antonio Conte.


Pirlo certainly would have thought he could win the Ballon d'Or in 2012, however he ended up coming in seventh position. In a different era, maybe he would have won it.

2. Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann has got to be one of the most unluckiest footballers to have not won the Ballon d'Or. The Frenchman had a brilliant year in 2016 where he scored close to 40 goals as well as led Atletico and France to the Champions League and Euro 2016 finals.


However, in both those games, Griezmann lost out to both teams led by Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid and Portugal. He finished third that year with Ronaldo winning the accolade for the fourth time in his career.

1. Neymar

Neymar came into contention for the Ballon d'Or in what was only his second season at FC Barcelona in 2015.


Part of the deadly MSN trio consisting of Messi and Suarez, Neymar scored an incredible 39 goals in all competitions that year but lost out to the individual prize in third place as Lionel Messi won the Ballon d'Or and Cristiano came second.