The first was Omar Sivori in 1961 and the last was Fabio Cannavaro in 2006. The list of Italians who have won the Ballon d’Or is short, but the list of champions who may be worthy of this award is quite wide.
Ballon d’Or: Italians won
We know this well Nicolò Barella will not win the 2023 Ballon d’Orbecause the prestigious individual award, awarded every year by the French Football jury, will almost certainly go to one of Lionel Messi (much loved) or Erling Haaland. However, it is pleasing to see the 26-year-old Sardinian midfielder among the 30 players officially nominated for this year’s event and recognition of Inter’s superb season.
It has been 17 years since an Italian last won the Ballon d’Or, and the impression is that it will be a few more years, because Barella is truly a champion, but to achieve this recognition one must have absolute excellence. He became the first Italian football player to achieve this. Omer Sivori in 1961He had a sensational season at Juventus and has already become a naturalized citizen.
The first “non-oriundo” is instead Gianni Rivera in 1969He has just come off the Champions Cup-Intercontinental match against Milan. Thirteen years later it was Paolo Rossi’s turn. The late Pablito won the 1982 edition to great acclaim, following his world championship win as the protagonist. But Roberto Baggio didn’t need the World Cup in 1993, he won it with Juventus and it provided magic.
Missed Ballon d’Ors and post-Calciopoli crisis
Last Azzurri to win Ballon d’Or Fabio Cannavaro in 2006, the year in which world championships were won in both Germany and Calciopoli. The explanation is more necessary than ever because among the consequences of this scandal was the gradual impoverishment of our football, and this continues today. Not that there aren’t other Italians who deserve it, as there were before.
The last Italian to finish the podium is Jorginho in 2021Messi’s 7th and last Ballon d’Or so far definitely the most discussed. However, there are many important names in our football who can claim the cup. Consider Gianluigi Buffon, who finished 2nd in 2006 but definitely deserved it for his career.
also for Paolo Maldini – 2 times on the podium – The same idea applies considering his legendary career with Milan and the national team. Gigi Riva, Sandro Mazzola, Giacinto Facchetti, Dino Zoff, Franco Baresi and Totò Schillaci are the other Italians on the podium. Even the other two legends of our football, Francesco Totti and Alessandro Del Piero, would not look out of shape on the podium.