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With the winner of the first ever Fifa Ballon d'Or set to be handed out on Monday, Goal.com takes a look at the past winners of the Ballon d'Or and the Fifa World Player of the Year, the two predecessors of the newly installed individual trophy.

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The Ballon d'Or was first handed out by French football magazine France Football in 1956, with the legendary Stanley Matthews scooping up the prestigious trophy. Other big names who won the individual award in its early years are Alfredo Di Stefano, Raymond Kopa, Eusebio, Johan Cruyff, Franz Beckenbauer and Michel Platini.

Year Ballon d'Or Fifa World Player of the Year
1956 Stanley Matthews
1957 Alfredo Di Stefano
1958 Raymond Kopa
1959 Alfredo Di Stefano
1960 Luis Suarez
1961 Omar Sivori
1962 Josef Masopust
1963 Lev Yashin
1964 Denis Law
1965 Eusebio
1966 Bobby Charlton
1967 Florian Albert
1968 George Best
1969 Gianni Rivera
1970 Gerd Mueller
 
1971 Johan Cruyff
1972 Franz Beckenbauer
1973 Johan Cruyff
1974 Johan Cruyff
1975 Oleg Blokhin
1976 Franz Beckenbauer
1977 Allan Simonsen
1978 Kevin Keegan
1979 Kevin Keegan
1980 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
1981 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
1982 Paolo Rossi
1983 Michel Platini
1984 Michel Platini
1985 Michel Platini
1986 Igor Belanov
1987 Ruud Gullit
1988 Marco van Basten
1989 Marco van Basten
1990 Lothar Matthaeus
1991 Jean-Pierre Papin Lothar Matthaeus
1992 Marco van Basten Marco van Basten
1993 Roberto Baggio Roberto Baggio
1994 Hristo Stoichkov
Romario
1995 George Weah
George Weah
1996 Matthias Sammer Ronaldo
1997 Ronaldo Ronaldo
1998 Zinedine Zidane Zinedine Zidane
1999 Rivaldo Rivaldo
2000 Luis Figo Zinedine Zidane
2001 Michael Owen Luis Figo
2002 Ronaldo Ronaldo
2003 Pavel Nedved
Zinedine Zidane
2004 Andriy Shevchenko
Ronaldinho
2005 Ronaldinho Ronaldinho
2006 Fabio Cannavaro Fabio Cannavaro
2007 Kaka Kaka
2008 Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
2009 Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

In 1991, Fifa then decided to call the Fifa Player of the Year award into life. This led to some remarkable differences as to the winners of the two trophies.

For example, in 1996 France Football awarded the Ballon d'Or to German holding midfielder Matthias Sammer, while Fifa wasn't too impressed with the Euro 1996 winner and picked Brazilian striker Ronaldo instead.

However, on most occasions the winner of the Ballon d'Or was the same as the winner of the Fifa Player of the Year trophy. Players such as Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and George Weah all lifted both awards in the same year.

Fifa and France Football therefore opted to cooperate and hand out one award instead to make it clear for once and for all who has been the best player of the year.

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