When it comes to winning the Ballon d’Or, forwards perhaps have an edge owing to their goal-scoring ability.
Scoring goals is easily quantifiable, so even the most consistent of players like Andres Iniesta and Virgil van Dijk have missed out on winning the elusive trophy.
In the last ten years, Luka Modric is the only midfielder to have won the Ballon d’Or as the duo of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have emerged on top.
The Messi-Ronaldo duopoly has stopped several top players from winning the Ballon d’Or. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top five forwards who have never won the Ballon d’Or.
Real Madrid legend Raul was an absolute goal-machine at his peak, and showed he could do it in a different league as well after a spell with Schalke towards the end of his career.
The Spaniard scored 324 goals for Real Madrid and is their second highest goal-scorer for Los Blancos, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo.
Raul’s personal best campaign was during the 2000-01 season when he scored 25 goals in 36 La Liga games and won the Golden Boot award that year.
A spell at Schalke followed after 16 years at Real Madrid, and the Spaniard did pretty well at Gelsenkirchen as well. 40 goals in 98 appearances towards the twilight of his career at Schalke wasn’t a bad return at all.
Raul finished second in the race for the Ballon d’Or in 2001 when Michael Owen won it. Many believe the Spaniard was robbed of the Ballon d’Or that year.
#4 Robert Lewandowski
Roberto Lewandowski is perhaps the best striker in the world right now, and the Poland international was unfortunate not to win the Ballon d’Or last season.
Lewandowski powered Bayern Munich to the treble last season, but the Ballon d’Or award for the 2019-20 season was canceled because of COVID-19.
The Poland international carried over his form to the 2020-21 season as well, and broke Gerd Muller’s record of 40 goals in a single Bundesliga season.
At 32, Lewandowski is showing no signs of slowing down, having won four successive Gold Boots in the German top flight. Lewandowski could still win the Ballon d’Or later this year, but he will have to beat competition from a certain Lionel Messi.