There is no questioning the greatness of Ronaldo and Messi, but some footballers may feel cheated since they were not given the credit they deserved for their achievements.
This list includes some of the greatest athletes of all time, and everyone of them should have won a gold medal at least once.
Let’s take a look at five players who were deserving of the Ballon d’Or more than the illustrious Ronaldo and Messi.
1. Wesley Sneijder – 2010
Sneijder never ever finished in the top three in the standings during his whole career, which is scandalous. Inter Milan’s 2009/10 treble-winning team had the Dutchman as their creative lynchpin after he had fallen out of favor at Real Madrid.
At Inter Milan, Wesley Sneijder had an immediate impact, helping his team to Serie A and Champions League success in 2010.
When the Netherlands reached the finals of the 2010 World Cup, the Dutchman was a talisman, winning multiple individual honors and many people were surprised that he didn’t win the Ballon d’Or in 2010.
2. Xavi Hernandez (2009 and 2011)
“The Puppet Master” is the name given to him because of his prowess in manipulating games. Both for Barcelona and for Spain, the former Barcelona midfielder was well-known for his superb positioning and ability to pick out the perfect pass at any given time.
Xavi was a key cog in Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona midfield and in Spain’s World Cup and Euro 2016 winning teams. Xavi is one of the all-time greats of the game, with a total of more than 180 assists to his credit.
Xavi may have been more important to Pep Guardiola’s tiki-taka style of play in 2009 than Lionel Messi, despite the Argentine receiving all the attention. It was in 2011, when he was perhaps the best player in the world, that he had his most memorable season.
3. Franck Ribery – 2013
There are few players in the world who are as good as Ribery at this stage of their careers, and he has shown it time and time again in the Serie A. Francois Houllier was a constant threat to Bayern Munich during his peak years.
When it came to the big stage, Ribery shone both in the United States and Europe, where he finished third in 2013 with a clutch pass, fast feet, and an eye for an assist. However, he was well-deserving of the top honors.
4. Andres Iniesta (2010 and 2012)
At the very least, he should have been voted the best player in the world at some point during his country’s incredible World Cup and Euro victories.
While he won the 2012 UEFA Best Player award ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Ballon d’Or vote went against him as he ended up in third place.
As a true legend of the game, Iniesta brought joy to the faces of everyone he came into contact with. When it comes to the beautiful game, this Spanish legend is undoubtedly the best player who never won FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award.