List of French players who have won the Ballon d’Or: Ballon d’Or is one of the most prestigious awards for football players. Ballon d’Or was officially introduced in 1956 and was awarded as the European Footballer of the Year. In 2007, it was expanded as a global award including all professional football players across the globe being eligible.
The latest winner (2022) of the award is Karim Benzema, who is also the 5th French footballer to win Ballon d’Or. Also, Lionel Messi is the player with the most Ballon d’Or (7 times). And Cristiano Ronaldo is the footballer with the most nominees (18 times).
French Players with Ballon d’Or so far
Till now there have been 5 French players to be honored with such a prestigious award. Raymond Kopa, Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin, Zinedine Zidane, and Karim Benzema are the five French player to win the same.
Raymond Kopa (1958)
Kopa played as an attacking midfielder and was one of the best footballers of his era. He played for French National Team and Reims and Real Madrid at that time. Being the first French player to receive the Ballon d’Or and three European Cups, he was a living legend at that time.
In 1960 he was also named the French Player of the Year and Golden Foot in 2006 as a football legend.
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Michel Platini (1983, 1984, 1985)
Michel won three consecutive Ballon d’Or in 1983, 1984, and 1985 is now a football administrator and former football player, and manager. In his senior career, he played for Nancy, Saint-Etienne, and Juventus.
He also won the 1984 European Cup being the key player of the French National Team. After his retirement as a football player, he coached the French National Team for four years.
Jean-Pierre Papin (1991)
Papin is the manager of Championnat National 2 club C’Charters and a former French footballer. Along with Ballon d’Or in 1991, he was IFFHS World’s Top Goal Scorer in 1991 and won Golden Foot in 2013 as a football legend.
In his senior career, he played for Valenciennes, Club Brugge, Marseille, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, Guingamp, and Saint-Pierroise. The main success in his career was while playing for Marseille between 1986 and 1992.
Zinedine Zidane (1998)
Zinedine, popularly called Zizou is a former professional footballer and a football manager. He is widely considered one of the greatest players and most successful coaches in the world. For his club career, he played for Cannes, Bordeaux, Juventus, and Real Madrid.
He won Ballon d’Or in 1998 and various individual awards. FIFA World Cup (1998), FIFA World Player of the Year (1998, 2000 and 2003) and Golden Foot award as a football legend in 2008 are a few of them.
Karim Benzema (2022)
Benzema is the fifth and latest winner of the Ballon d’Or and is often considered as one of the best strikers of all time. He captains Real Madrid and the French National Team. And in 2022 he was also awarded the UEFA Player of the Year award.
He started his club career with Lyon in 2004 and Real Madrid from 2009 till the present.