Ballon d'Or: Six British footballers who've won the award

  • 20 October 2015
The FIFA Ballon d'Or 2013 (Golden ball) trophy is displayed at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 13, 2014, ahead of the Ballon d'Or award ceremony. Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Will Gareth Bale be the next British player to win the famous Ballon d'Or award for the world's best footballer?

The 23-man shortlist for the 2015 Ballon d'Or award for the world's best footballer has been announced, and there's only one Brit on there.

Manchester City trio Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure are among five Premier League players nominated for the top prize.

Last year's winner Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Barcelona's Lionel Messi are the favourites to win world football's best player award..

But Wales forward Gareth Bale is the only British player named on the list.

So, Newsround looks back at the small group of British footballers who have won the Ballon d'Or in the past.

Sir Stanley Matthews - England (1956)

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Sir Stanley Matthews was the first ever winner of the Ballon d'Or in 1956.

He was one of England's greatest footballers and he played for Blackpool for 14 years.

Matthews' nicknames included "The Wizard of the Dribble" and "The Magician".

Stanley stopped playing top level football at the age of 50, 20 years longer than most players manage these days.

Denis Law - Scotland (1964)

Denis Law is the only Scottish player in history to have won the Ballon d'Or award, picking up the prize in 1964.

He was a striker from the 1950s to the 1970s who was best known for the 11 years he spent at Manchester United. He scored 237 goals in 404 appearances for the Red Devils.

Law still holds a record for United for scoring 46 competitive goals in one season.

Sir Bobby Charlton - England (1966)

Englishman Sir Bobby Charlton won the Ballon d'Or in 1966 and is still respected as one of the greatest midfielders of all time.

He won the World Cup with England the year he was given the award.

Sir Bobby played almost all of his club football at Manchester United and is still the clubs all time leading scorer.

He is still closely linked with the Red Devils and is currently sits on the board of directors, which helps run the club.

George Best - Northern Ireland (1968)

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Winger George Best won the Ballon d'Or in 1968.

He is the only player from Northern Ireland to have ever won it.

George was best known for his time playing for Manchester United, where he made his debut at 17-years-old in 1963.

He went on to score 179 goals in 470 appearances over the next 11 years.

Kevin Keegan - England (1978 and 1979)

Image copyright FA

England's Kevin Keegan is the only British player to win the Ballon d'Or twice - picking up the best player award in 1978 and 1979.

He played as a striker for several clubs including Liverpool and German side Hamburg.

As a player in the 1970s and 1980s, he has been described by the media as "the first superstar English player."

He went on to manage Newcastle United, Fulham and Manchester City, and also the England national team.

Michael Owen - England (2001)

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Michael Owen was the last British player to win the famous Ballon d'Or award in 2001.

He played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City as well as the England national team.

Owen scored 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool and is seen as one of their greatest ever strikers.

He is now a regular football pundit.

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