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The Super Ballon d'Or

The Super Ballon d'Or is regarded as one of the most prestigious individual awards in world football. It is even more exclusive than the Ballon d'Or, made clear as the word 'super' is placed before it. The award was presented to the footballer who had been the best player in the world for some time rather than for just one season. The award took into account a player's achievements over their entire career, as well as their impact on the game and their team.

Super Ballon d'Or trophyThe Super Ballon d'Or trophy awarded in 1989 (on display at the Real Madrid Museum)

Awarded Just Once

The Super Ballon d'Or has only been awarded one time. The Super Ballon d'Or was awarded on 24 December 1989 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Ballon d'Or.

The winner was judged based on votes of viewers and readers of French magazine France Football, a panel of judges set up by the magazine, plus former Ballon d'Or winners. Players who had won the Ballon d'Or more than once up to that time were eligible: Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Kevin Keegan.

The winner was Alfredo Di Stéfano, a legendary player who won the Ballon d'Or twice in 1957 and 1959. He was also a key player in Real Madrid's success during that era.

The award was only open to European players, as were the rules for the Ballon d'Or at the time. Although Di Stéfano was born in Argentina, his Spanish citizenship made him eligible for the award.

If the views of just the viewers and readers of the magazine were considered, the award would have gone to Michel Platini.

The Imposing Trophy

The Super Ballon d'Or trophy is an exaggerated version of the Ballon d'Or. It had the same golden ball, though set atop a crystal style glass stand and base, with many mini golden balls scattered around the base. The trophy was 52cm tall, the base 30 by 30 cm.

The trophy had been on display at the Real Madrid Museum at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium for many years, though in 2021 it went to auction as part of a sale of Alfredo Di Stefano memorabilia. The trophy was sold to an anonymous bidder for £187,500, and its current location is unknown.

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