8 Players Who Won The Champions League, World Cup And Ballon d’Or

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Kaka and Ronaldinho
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There are a handful of trophies which truly define a player’s career.

For all the fantastic Copa Libertadores, Gold Cup or FA Cup winners there have been over the years, there are only two trophies across the world which are held above all others – the World Cup and Champions League.

On top of those is the Ballon d’Or, which is given to the best player on the planet every year (since 1995), but throughout history, there have only ever been eight winners of all three.

Get to know who they are…

Sir Bobby Charlton

Champions League: 1968
World Cup: 1966
Ballon d’Or: 1966

Bobby Charlton

The Ballon d’Or isn’t always handed out to a player based on their performances at the international level, and it certainly isn’t the case that Sir Bobby Charlton didn’t deserve the award for his quality at club level, but the Manchester United legend was crucial to England’s success in 1966.

He scored in the group stages against Mexico, but most notably it was his two goals against Portugal in the semi-finals which booked England’s place in world football’s showpiece fixture.

Charlton even set up Sir Geoff Hurst’s equaliser in the final, as England went on to beat Germany 4-2 at Wembley Stadium.


Gerd Müller

Champions League: 1974, 1975, 1976
World Cup: 1974
Ballon d’Or: 1970

WORLD CUP-1974-WEST GERMANY-AUSTRALIA

Gerd Müller might have been helped by the fact he was part of a Germany and Bayern Munich team who were one of the greatest of all time, but Gerd Müller was still one of the best strikers to ever play the sport.

He’s one of just two out and out strikers to ever win the World Cup, Champions League and Ballon d’Or.

He finished his career with 515 goals to his name and to this day remains Bayern Munich’s best goalscorer of all time, as well as the Bundesliga’s top marksman.


Franz Beckenbauer

Champions League: 1974, 1975, 1976
World Cup: 1974
Ballon d’Or: 1972, 1976

World Cup Finals - "The Netherlands v BRD"

Although it was Müller who was firing in the goals for Bayern Munich and Germany, Franz Beckenbauer was the real star of those teams.

He is one of just 10 players throughout history who have ever won more than one Ballon d’Or – he’s the only defender to ever pick up at least two awards – and he was part of a Bayern Munich team which won three Champions Leagues in a row.


Paolo Rossi

Champions League: 1985
World Cup: 1982
Ballon d’Or: 1982

Paolo Rossi

Like Sir Bobby Charlton, Italy’s Paulo Rossi was a lot more than just a player who put in his best performances at the international level, but his display at the 1982 World Cup was impossible to ignore when it came to deciding that year’s Ballon d’Or.

Rossi had a quiet tournament until the quarter-final stage, where he scored a hat-trick against Brazil and went on to net a brace in the semi-finals against Poland.

He even scored in the final, opening the scoring against Germany with a header, with Italy going on to win the game 3-1 thanks to goals from Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli.


Zinedine Zidane

Champions League: 2002
World Cup: 1998
Ballon d’Or: 1998

CUP-FR98-BRA-FRA-ZIDANE-PETIT-LEONARDO

Before Zinedine Zidane became a Champions League-winning manager at Real Madrid, he was a Champions League-winning midfielder in the Spanish capital.

His famous volley in the final against Bayer Leverkusen helped him to become the fifth player to ever win the Champions League, World Cup and Ballon d’Or – the last two which he won four years prior to Europe’s elite club competition.

It was during his time at Juventus where Zidane helped to inspire his national team to the World Cup in 1998, eventually earning himself a groundbreaking £46.6m move to Real Madrid just after the turn of the millennium.


Rivaldo

Champions League: 2003
World Cup: 2002
Ballon d’Or: 1999

WC2002-BRA-CHN

Despite Brazil’s consistent success throughout the 20th century, it wasn’t until AC Milan lifted the Champions League in 2003 that a star player from the Seleção had claimed all three major trophies in their career.

Rivaldo had only moved to Europe three years before winning the Ballon d’Or, and despite losing the World Cup final to Zidane’s France in 1998, the Brazil legend eventually got his hands on that trophy four years later – scoring in five consecutive games during their route to the final.

He ultimately had to leave Barcelona to get his hands on the Champions League, but even then Rivaldo was only an unused substitute as Milan secured the trophy thanks to a penalty shootout against Juventus.


Ronaldinho

Champions League: 2006
World Cup: 2002
Ballon d’Or: 2005

FOOT-FRA-L1-PSG-MARSEILLE

Ronaldinho hadn’t long been at Paris Saint-Germain when he won the World Cup in 2002, but he had to wait until a move to Barcelona before he started getting the worldwide recognition he deserved.

He pipped Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard to the Ballon d’Or in 2005, while the following year Ronaldinho was part of the Barcelona team which beat Arsenal back at his old stomping ground, the Parc des Princes, in the Champions League final.


Kaká

Champions League: 2007
World Cup: 2002
Ballon d’Or: 2007

Kaka

Neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi have (or, likely will) join this list, so it looks set that Brazil legend Kaká will remain the most recent inductee into the most elite group of players to win football’s three most coveted prizes.

Kaká had only just turned 20 when he won the World Cup with Brazil, although he only appeared in one match as a second-half substitute.

It would be another year before Milan snapped him up from São Paulo, but it was with the Rossoneri where Kaká would win the Champions League and Ballon d’Or in 2007, going on to join Real Madrid in a move which made him Brazil’s most expensive player.

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source: 90min

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