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The Ballon d’Or is the most coveted personal prize in professional football. And so, ahead of the 2023 ceremony on 30 October, we answer some common questions, like “how much does the Ballon d’Or weigh?” and “what is the Ballon d’Or made of?”
Ballon d’Or facts
1. How much does the Ballon d’Or weigh?
The latest version of the Ballon d’Or trophy is among the heaviest ever. It is estimated to be worth around 15kg. This is actually much heavier than the FIFA World Cup trophy, which is estimated to weigh just over 6kgs. So if the winner wants to do free-hand exercises with the Ballon d’Or trophy, they probably can!
2. Has the Ballon d’Or weight always been the same?
The Ballon d’Or trophy has actually become heavier over the years. It was estimated to weigh just over 7kg, but that has been changed now. The first Ballon d’Or trophy was actually a tiny trophy that felt like a miniature version of the current one!
3. How tall is the Ballon d’Or trophy?
The exact dimensions of the Ballon d’Or trophy is that it is 31 cm in height and 23 cm in diameter. It is not taller than the World Cup trophy, but it is wider in dimension than that iconic accolade.
4. What is the Ballon d’Or trophy made of?
The trophy itself is fully bathed in gold and made with two brass plates that are combined together to form the shape of a ball. It is definitely the kind of award that any footballer would love to have in their showcase, simply because of how beautiful the trophy really is.
Ballon d’Or history
5. When was the first Ballon d’Or presentation held?
French magazine France Football decided to create the Ballon d’Or trophy in 1956 to be awarded to the best player in world football. Interestingly though, the first ceremony wasn’t really held in any prominent area, with France Football just sending the trophy to the winner instead.
6. Who won the first Ballon d’Or trophy?
The first ever Ballon d’Or trophy was won by Sir Stanley Matthews back in 1956. He won 47 points from the panel of sports journalists from all over Europe and managed to win it just above Real Madrid icon Alfredo di Stefano.
7. Has anyone ever won a Ballon d’Or twice in a row?
Winning the Ballon d’Or award even once is the ultimate dream for many aspiring footballers. However, seven individuals have actually won the trophy two years running. Kevin Keegan (1978, 1979) and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1980, 1981) famously won it twice in a row at the peak of their powers.
Michel Platini, Marco van Basten and Johan Cruyff also achieved this and even won it three times in a row. Cristiano Ronaldo has won the trophy two years running on two separate occasions. Lionel Messi won it four years in a row from 2009-2012.
8. How many English players have won the Ballon d’Or?
So far, four English players have been able to win this coveted trophy. Stanley Matthews was the first player to win the Ballon d’Or and also, as a result, the first Englishman to do so. After him, Sir Bobby Charlton (1966) also won it thanks to his heroics in England’s World Cup winning year.
As already noted, Kevin Keegan then won it twice in the late 1970s. The last English player to win a Ballon d’Or was Michael Owen in 2001, after Liverpool won all of their competitions bar the Premier League in the preceding campaign.
The next event
9. Where is the 2023 Ballon d’Or being held?
The 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony will be held at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France on 30 October. It will be hosted by Chelsea legend Didier Drogba. Along with the Ballon d’Or trophy, the Kopa Trophy, Yashin Trophy and Ballon d’Or Feminin will also be presented on that day.
10. Who is going to win the 2023 Ballon d’Or?
A final list of 30 players has been announced ahead of the 2023 Ballon d’Or, but there are only two candidates really considered to be in the running. Inter Miami star Lionel Messi is the clear favourite after winning the FIFA World Cup with Argentina last year.
Messi is, however, likely to have a battle for the trophy with Manchester City star Erling Haaland, who won the European treble last season. PSG forward Kylian Mbappe is also in the race to lift his first Ballon d’Or trophy.
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