France Football magazine reveals on Friday August 12 the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or 2022, the supreme individual award for the round ball. We have selected five former winners who evolved on the island of Ramier.
Maradona, Ibrahimovic, Buffon, Neymar, Mbappé, Gerrard… Many great players have already taken over the Stadium lawn, but only a handful have received the highest individual distinction for a football player: the Ballon d’ Gold. A look back at some of these legends who have walked the lawn of “little Wembley”.
Kopa, forever the first
He is the first Frenchman in history to have been elected Ballon d’Or. Raymond Kopa, former legend of SCO Angers, Stade de Reims and Real Madrid, elected Ballon d’Or 1958, played several times at the Stadium. Under the colors of the Reims club, the offensive player (1m68) came twice in 1955 and distinguished himself in each of these appearances. Back in Champagne after his spell at Real Madrid, Kopa returned to Toulouse in 1962, without leaving as a scorer this time.
When Cruyff’s Ajax stuck 9-0 to TFC
Triple Ballon d’Or in 1971, 1973 and 1974, Johan Cruyff splashed the Stadium with his talent on a certain day in February 1982. As part of a friendly match between Toulouse Football Club and Ajax Amsterdam, the “Dutch flying” and his teammates correct the TFC on the score of 9-0. The former number 14 of FC Barcelona, then 35 years old, however, remained silent. The next day, our newspaper headlined “Ajax washes away TFC”.
The young Platini shines with Nancy
Just 19 years old, Michel Platini, who had joined the professional team of Nancy a year earlier, travels on December 22, 1974 to face US Toulouse (1970-1979). A meeting counting for the 2B Division championship. The playmaker will allow his team to take the advantage at the end of the game, before the two teams finally neutralize each other (2-2). The winner of the Ballon d’Or 1983,1984, 1985 and the Lorraine club will return to the elite the following season.
Owen and his sensational entrance
Coming in the 72nd minute of play against Romania, one evening on June 22, 1998, Michael Owen (Ballon d’Or 2001) will remember his match at the Stadium as a daydream. Decisive 7 minutes later on a cross from Alan Shearer diverted by his teammate Paul Scholes, he will become the youngest scorer in the history of England in the World Cup, at only 18 years, 6 months and 8 days.
Zidane beaten by Christophe Revault’s TFC
On the occasion of the commemoration of the explosion of the AZF factory, the France 1998 team came to challenge the TFC in its enclosure, on May 30, 2005. For the occasion, most of the 1998 world champions had answered the call. The Ballon d’Or of the same year had already landed in the Pink city a few years earlier under the tunic of the Girondins de Bordeaux, in 1993 as well as in 1994. Led by their number 10 superstar, the Blues lost 2- 1 (goals from Achile Emana and Benjamin Psaume, against an achievement by Robert Pires), but the importance was not there.
This list, to which is added Georges Weah and Jean-Pierre Papin, could grow in the coming weeks. Former Lyonnais Karim Benzema could be elected this year, while Lionel Messi is invited to go to the Stadium on August 31 with his PSG team.