Granted there are many soccer awards, but it is high time we know which is the most prestigious.
People participate in Soccer for a variety of reasons. Some enjoy competition, while others simply want to get their adrenaline pumping. Some people participate in Soccer because they are professionals who live and breathe the sport. They excel at it and yearn for the best soccer awards available.
While the discussion over who is the greatest football player of all time is never-ending, supporters of the various contenders for the game’s GOAT frequently bring numbers to the table. This includes how many individual awards their favourite player has received.
Furthermore, we should know that statistics aren’t everything in football. The best players create moments of beauty that transcend all measurable accomplishments. Prestigious (individual) Soccer awards in this team sport continue to be hotly contested and bring glory and bragging rights to their winners.
Continue reading to discover what the world of football considers to be the most prestigious Soccer award.
The FIFA Puskas Award
Cristiano Ronaldo was the first recipient of the Puskas award. The FIFA Puskas award is included because of its democratic aspect and distinctive beauty worship. FIFA established the award in 2009 to recognise the most beautiful (yes, subjective) goal of the year. It can go to a male or female player, and it can even go to a relative unknown. However Lionel Messi has received the most nominations – seven to be exact – throughout the award’s brief history.
The Puskas trophy, named after the legendary Hungarian striker Ferenc Puskas, has sparked debate due to its subjective character. Most notably when Mohamed Salah won it with a curler in 2018.
Read Also: Who Are AFCON Top Scorers of All Time?
The European Golden Shoe Award
With two different clubs, Luis Suarez has won the European Golden Shoe. The European Golden Shoe award was created by the magazine L’Équipe and is given to the highest scorer in all European football leagues (top division.) Between 1968 and 1991, no distinction was established between European leagues until a debate arose over a Cypriot scorer.
L’Equipe subsequently suspended the Golden Shoe award for a period of five years. European Soccer Media has been giving the accolade since the 1996-97 season. They use a coefficient that provides more weight to the best leagues.
Lionel Messi has won the ‘revamped’ award 6 times, with Cristiano Ronaldo coming in 2nd with 4. Only two players from outside the top five European football leagues have won it in the last 25 years. They are Henrik Larsson and Mario Jardel.
The Coveted “Golden Ball” Soccer Award
At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Luka Modric was awarded the Golden Ball. Another famous prize that goes beyond numbers is the Golden Ball award. It is given to the finest footballer in the FIFA World Cup.
The best footballer may not have been a member of the winning team or even have the top stats in the tournament (goals, saves, assists). However, their efforts must have left an everlasting impact on the quadrennial spectacle.
In reality, Romario, a Brazilian striker who played in the 1994 World Cup, was the last player to receive the Golden Ball for the victorious team. The last two winners of the award, Lionel Messi and Luka Modric, were both beaten finalists. The fact that a top footballer only gets a few chances to win the Golden Ball Soccer award during their careers adds to the grandeur of winning it.
FIFA The Best (World Player of the Year) Soccer Award
Former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has won the FIFA World Player of the Year title three times.
FIFA awarded the World Player of the Year award to the greatest men’s football player in the world from 1991 to 2009, before merging the honour with the Ballon d’Or for six years.
Ronaldo Nazario (Brazil) and Zinedine Zidane (France) each won the prize three times. Cristiano Ronaldo has won both iterations of the new version.
The Ballon d’Or
Marco van Basten, although an injury prone player, is a three-time Ballon d’Or winner. Every year since 1956, the Ballon d’Or award has been given to the greatest footballer in the world by France Football magazine.
The Ballon d’Or, one of the most prestigious soccer awards, was amalgamated with the FIFA award for six years until 2009, but has since become an independent prize.
The award, which was created by Soccer journalist Gabriel Hanot, was originally intended to honour only the best European player in a given season. This changed in 1995, when players from any European league were allowed to compete.
In 2007, it was elevated to a global prize. The first voters were football writers, but in 2007, team captains and coaches were given the opportunity to vote.
Lionel Messi has won the accolade six times, while Cristiano Ronaldo has won it five times. Luka Modric broke the Messi-Ronaldo duopoly in 2018, his year of wonders, in which he also won the Golden Ball.
These are some of the most coveted individual soccer awards that any player in the world may aspire to earn, but we all know that soccer is more than just about winning, and it is the most popular sport on the planet.
Every year, we witness some of the most impressive soccer talents, and each year is unique, which is the true beauty of this heartwarming sport.
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