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Ballon d'Or Nationalities

Here is a list of the number of winners of the Ballon d'Or by country. Argentina is on top of this list despite non-European players not being eligible for the award for a long time. From 1956 until 1994 only European players were eligible to win the award. Between 1995 and 2006 players from around the world were eligible, though only if they were active at European clubs during that year. Since 2007, players from any country are eligible to win.

Argentine Lionel Messi has won the men's Ballon d'Or award a record eight times. Consequently, Argentina has provided the most winners, with Messi accounting for all of their wins. The tally may well be ten - two-time winner Alfredo Di Stéfano was born in Argentina and played for their national team before moving to Spain, becoming a Spanish citizen in 1956 the year before first winning the award.

Three Ukrainian players have won the Ballon d'Or: Andriy Shevchenko, Oleg Blokhin, and Igor Belanov, though Blokhin and Belanov were at that time Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and are counted under that country, officially leaving only one Ukrainian winner.

2003 winner Pavel Nedvěd is officially the first and only Czech player to win the Ballon d'Or, though the 1962 winner Josef Masopust was born in Czechoslovakia, in an area which is now part of the Czech Republic.

The 1965 winner Eusébio was born in Mozambique, but at that time it was a colony of Portugal.

List of Winners by Country

Country Winners Different Players
Argentina 8 1
France 7 5
Germany 7 5
Netherlands 7 3
Portugal 7 3
Italy 5 5
Brazil 5 4
England 5 4
Soviet Union 3 3
Spain 3 2
Bulgaria 1 1
Croatia 1 1
Czech Republic 1 1
Czechoslovakia 1 1
Denmark 1 1
Hungary 1 1
Liberia 1 1
Northern Ireland 1 1
Scotland 1 1
Ukraine 1 1

First Time Winners

Here is a list of the first winner from each country that has produced a Ballon d'Or winner, sorted by years.

Year Country First Winner
2018 Croatia Luka Modric
2009 Argentina Lionel Messi
2004 Ukraine Andriy Shevchenko
2003 Czech Republic Pavel Nedvěd
1997 Brazil Ronaldo
1995 Liberia George Weah
1994 Bulgaria Hristo Stoichkov
1977 Denmark Allan Simonsen
1971 Netherlands Johan Cruyff
1970 Germany Gerd Müller
1968 Northern Ireland George Best
1967 Hungary Flórián Albert
1965 Portugal Eusébio
1964 Scotland Denis Law
1963 Soviet Union Lev Yashin
1962 Czechoslovakia Josef Masopust
1961 Italy Omar Sívori
1958 France Raymond Kopa
1957 Spain Alfredo Di Stéfano
1956 England Stanley Matthews

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