The biggest dream of any footballer is nothing less than to take home the Ballon d'Or, the most prestigious award in the world of football. This award, which is presented annually, recognizes the incredible record of the season's player at international level and honors the sport's great legends.
Only the best in history can boast of winning the Ballon d'Or. And famous footballers such as Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi are among the few who can boast of more than one of these trophies.
In the case of women's football, this award is also the most prestigious, although its history is many years shorter: it was first awarded in 2018. That is why, at the moment, only four football players can boast of receiving it: Aitana Bonmati (2023), Alexia Putellas (twice, in 2021 and 2022), Megan Rapinoe (2019) and Ada Hegerberg (2018).
And while the recognition that comes with this award is the biggest benefit a footballer can receive, the Ballon d'Or can also bring significant financial benefits to its owner.
How much money do Ballon d'Or winners take home?
The Ballon d'Or is an award that does not directly entail economic benefits, meaning the winners do not receive any money. Neither the organization nor France Football pays the winners, who will only receive the gold trophy that characterizes the award, worth about 3,000 euros.
However, just because an organization doesn't pay cash rewards to the top players of the season doesn't mean that winning the Ballon d'Or doesn't provide monetary value in return. Some of the great athletes who have received the award have been able to monetize this achievement either through their sponsoring partners or through the clubs themselves, who give them good sums for it.
Awards for winning the Ballon d'Or
Although the biggest reward associated with winning the Ballon d'Or is the prestige it gives the footballer, the winner's income can also increase as a result of winning the title. However, the bonuses that recent winners received varied greatly depending on the player awarded.
For example, Karim Benzema could receive up to half a million euros for this recognition thanks to his contract with Real Madrid, as various media have indicated. To this will also be added additional fees for contracts concluded with brands that he patronizes.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who would have received almost 4 million euros from his contracts with Nike after the award, or the case of Luka Modric, winner of the Ballon d'Or in 2018, who received almost a million euros from the same sponsor.
There are no exact figures yet on the amount that Leo Messi, who received the most Ballons d'Or in history (this year was the eighth award in his career), would take in terms of bonuses for winning this category. However, it is estimated that his seventh Ballon d'Or, won in 2019, could have brought in up to €3 million in bonuses from his sponsors.