The Previous 13 Ballon d’Or Winners Before CR7 & Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated the Ballon d'Or for so long, it's often tricky to remember the players who lifted the award before their duopoly started. Here are the previous 13 winners before Ronaldo and Messi, including one African and four Brazilians.

Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see the Ballon d’Or winners from between 1995 and 2007.

The Ronaldo-Messi era began in 2008 when the Portuguese lifted the award ahead of the Argentine, with then Liverpool striker Fernando Torres finishing in third place.

The last winner of the Golden Ball, which has been handed out by France Football since 1956, other than Messi and Ronaldo was Kaka in 2007. The Brazilian, who was playing for AC Milan at the time, actually relegated Ronaldo and Messi to second and third place after lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy with the Rossoneri.

Former Italy centre back Fabio Cannavaro won the award the previous year when he was on the books of Real Madrid, after his performances helped the Azzurri to lift the 2006 FIFA World Cup title. In addition, he also claimed the La Liga trophy with Los Blancos.

Brazilian wizard Ronaldinho won the Golden Ball in 2005 after guiding FC Barcelona to the UEFA Champions League and La Liga titles.

Other previous winners on the list include Ronaldo Nazario (2002 with Real Madrid and 1997 with Inter Milan), Rivaldo (1999 with FC Barcelona) and Zinedine Zidane (1998 with Juventus).

Read: 10 Players Who Can End Ronaldo-Messi Ballon d’Or Era

George Weah is the only African to have ever lifted the Ballon d'Or, claiming it in 1995 during his time with AC Milan.

Who do you think will be the player to finally end Ronaldo and Messi's Ballon d'Or duopoly? Have your say in the comments section below.