The football world all believe the seven-time Ballon D’Or winner, Lionel Messi has the most award in football.
But according to France football who organize the award ceremony, Pele is on same number of Ballon D’Or with Messi.
They also went ahead to publish a magazine cover showing Pele with a seven Ballon D’Or awards.
Even though we never saw the Brazilian legend lift any Ballon D’Or award in his career.
The Ballon D’Or award was set up in 1956 by Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferran with England’s Stanley Matthews became inaugural winner.
However, the award then was only eligible to European players until 1995 when the rule changes.
The new rule now allow non-European players who play for European team eligible for the award.
These saw the now Liberia president, George Weah of AC Milan win the Ballon D’Or award in 1995.
Though Pele and Maradona were given an honorary Ballon D’Or award for their incredible career in 2013 and 1995 respectively.
Pele was also elect by France football as the Football Player of the Century over Maradona, Cruyff, and Alfredo di Stefano.
Meanwhile, Di Stefano also hold the most prestigious award in football ‘SUPER Ballon D’Or’ which he’s the only player to ever grace that award.
How did Pele has same number of Ballon D’Or as Messi
Pele was an incredible player during his time and known by many as the All-time greatest footballer.
Though the Brazilian never played in Europe as he spent most of his career at Santos before leaving for New York Cosmos.
However, Pele was a great goalscorer scoring as many as a thousand goals and winning three World Cups.
In 2016, France football did a “revision” of who should have been crowned the Ballon D’Or award if it has always been a global award from the onset.
These re-evaluation was to check who should have won the awards before the rules changed to globally in 1995.
With results showing 12 out of the 39 Ballon D’Or award should have went to South American players.
Results shows Pele, Maradona, Romario, Garrincha and Mario Kempes among worthy winners.
As a result, they retrospectively award Pele seven Ballon D’Or awards from 12 worthy of South Americans.
These are in 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1970 respectively.
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