Lionel Messi beat Robert Lewandowski to win his seventh Ballon d’Or last night, but has an Arsenal player ever won it?
The annual award, widely regarded as the most prestigious individual accolade in the sport, is handed out by France Football for the best player in the world.
Many people expected Lewandowski to get his first this year, but the Pole ended up 33 points short of Messi, who is now two clear of his good pal Cristiano Ronaldo.
Has an Arsenal player ever won the Ballon d’Or?
As much as we’d like to say yes, the answer is, sadly, no.
The first Ballon d’Or was handed out all the way back in 1956 to Stanley Matthews. You would think that at least one Arsenal player would’ve picked up the prestigious award since, but nope, not one!
That really is a shame. Arsenal have produced some incredible players over the years. Almost every player in the Invincibles squad was world-class, but France Football didn’t quite believe any of them were worthy of the award, not even Thierry Henry.
How close was Thierry Henry to winning the Ballon d’Or?
Henry is arguably the greatest striker to ever grace the Premier League. He was absolutely unstoppable in England during his prime, but the closest the legendary Frenchman came to winning the Ballon d’Or was in 2003.
Pavel Nedved was handed the award after an impressive 2002/03 season where he scored 14 goals and provided 17 assists in all competitions for Juventus.
In the same season, Henry scored 32 goals and provided 30 assists in all competitions. You can’t possibly do more, can you?