The FIFA Footballer of the Year award in the past ten years has been dominated by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Both have won the award 5 times each.
Luka Modric ended the dominance of Messi and Ronaldo last year when he was named FIFA Footballer of the Year.
However, there have been a lot of great footballers who never won this prestigious award. David Beckham, Raul, Sneijder were very influential but never won the award.
We decided to put together 10 great footballers who never won the FIFA Footballer of the Year award:
Ryan Giggs is one of Manchester United’s best players of all time. He was very influential when he played for the club. He won several trophies including the Champions League, the Premier League.
Pavel Nedvěd was a very influential player for Juventus. He led Juventus to win two Scudettos in two years. He was also very instrumental in helping Juventus reach the 2003 Champions League Final. Even though he did not win the FIFA Footballer of the Year award, he won the Ballon d’Or in 2003 for his spectacular performance for Juventus.
Iniesta was amazing for both club and country in 2010. He scored a crucial 116th-minute match-winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup final against the Netherlands, but he lost the FIFA Footballer of the Year award to his teammate Lionel Messi.
Xavi was also very instrumental for Barcelona and the Spanish National when they won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Xavi came second to teammate Messi in 2010.
Raul had an amazing career playing for Real Madrid. He is a three-time Champions League winner and the second all-time goal scorer for Real Madrid. Raul was a deadly finisher in his prime.
Shevchenko is considered to be one of the best strikers ever. He was a problem for a lot of defenders and yeah, he was a prolific goal scorer… he scored a lot of goals! He won the UEFA Champions League in 2003. Just like Nedvěd, he didn’t win the FIFA Footballer of the Year award but he won the Ballon d’Or in 2004.
Beckham was a fantastic player! He was a key player for Manchester United and Real Madrid when he played for them. He’s also considered as one of England’s best captains of all-time. He was runner up for the FIFA Footballer of the Year award twice but lost to Ronaldo and Luis Figo.
Henry came close to winning the FIFA Best Player award a few times. He came second to Zinedine Zidane in 2003. Henry finished second for the second year in succession as he lost the award to Ronaldinho.
Wesley Sneijder had an amazing football year in 2010 but was still unable to win the FIFA Best Player award. In that year, he was the most influential player for Inter Milan when they won the UEFA Champions League. He also was amazing for the Netherlands in 2010 World Cup. He was also very influential in the Netherlands team as they reached the finals but lost to Spain. Many felt he was robbed of the 2010 FIFA Best Player award which Messi won.
Samuel Eto’o in his prime was one of the best strikers in the world. He is the most decorated African player of all time. He has won the African Player of the Year award a record four times. As to how he was never in the top three of the World’s Best Players remains a mystery for many.