France Football announced when Pele could have won 7 Ballons d’Or – Football World
France Football, the prestigious French magazine, gave Pele the Ballon d’Or in 2014, only honorary, saying that he would have deserved the precious trophy much earlier. He would have been the first with seven balls, just like Lionel Messi (35) today. On January 13, 2014, Pele had tears in his eyes on stage at the Kongresshalle in Zurich. “I promised the family I wouldn’t cry, but I’m emotional. I thank God for giving me the health to play for so many years. But I didn’t play alone, everything I won was with my friends. People remember the footballers, but let’s not forget those who prepare the shoes, the physiotherapists, the massage therapists…I want to give this trophy to all of them,” the Brazilian said at the time, a statement quoted by UOL Esporte.
France Football and FIFA had just given him the honorary Ballon d’Or for his lifetime.
Pele gave a speech at the 2013 Ballon d’Or gala.
He was one of the great players in history, a three-time world champion (1958, 1962, 1970), but the incomparable Brazilian did not win the Ballon d’Or for his individual achievements in a given year, although he played for 21 years (1956-1977), although the first trophy , created by the French magazine, was awarded in the year of its debut.
France Football rules banned him, as happened with Diego Maradona. Until 1994, the award was reserved for Europeans. A year later, all players from outside Europe were also included, the condition being that they played in a club on the “Old Continent”. Only in 2006 were all restrictions lifted. From that moment on, anyone could win the Ballon d’Or.
In recognition of the Brazilian’s exceptional value, France Football announced in a special edition published in October 2015 the seven years in which Pele would have won the Ballon d’Or if the rules were the same as today: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1970. Today he would be tied with Leo Messi, also with seven trophies.
Who won the Ballon d’Or in the years when Pele would have deserved it:
1958 – Raymond Copa (France, Real Madrid)
1959 – Alfredo Di Stefano (Spain, Real Madrid)
1960 – Luis Suarez (Spain, Barcelona)
1961 – Omar Sivori (Italy, Juventus)
1963 – Lev Yashin (USSR, Dynamo Moscow)
1964 – Dennis Lowe (Scotland, Manchester United)
1970 – Gerd Müller (Germany, Bayern)