Most MVP awards in major sports: How Messi won the Ballon d’Or compared to NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL

Lionel Messi’s status as a sporting superstar was established long before he became a favorite for this year’s Ballon d’Or and a contender for the MLS MVP award Consolidate.

Beyond the binary choice that many see between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest footballers of the 21st century, there are further complications surrounding the Argentinian captain’s greatest achievement in the history of any sport. controversy.

If Messi wins the MVP award with Inter Miami, he will become the MVP of the United States for the first time. He has received the same honor in world football more often than any other player and on October 30 he may win the award for the eighth time.

So how does Messi’s Ballon d’Or record compare to the most-frequent MVP winners in the NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB? Sporting News takes a look at the numbers.

Lionel Messi wins Ballon d’Or: How often does he win football MVP?

Messi is the most successful player in Ballon d’Or history, winning world football’s most prestigious individual honor seven times between 2009 and 2021. Ronaldo has won this honor five times.

Messi’s six Ballon d’Or awards were won as a Barcelona player. In 2021, he found success after joining Paris Saint-Germain.

Here’s how he fared in the polls.

first place second place third place
2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2021 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 2007

How many times has Messi won MVP in domestic competitions?

Messi’s club MVP award is his La Liga Player of the Year award nine times While playing for Barcelona in the Spanish top league.

The award was first awarded in 2009 – six years after Messi made his Barca debut – and has been known as the MVP award since the 2016/17 season.

He also won the Copa America’s Player of the Year award in 2015 and 2021, recognizing him as the star of the South American international football competition, which Argentina won in the latter. He was also named the best player in the 2014 and 2022 World Cups.

Messi was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and won FIFA’s Best Men’s Player honors in 2019 and 2022.

This is when Messi gets the MVP award in domestic competition.

  • 2008–09
  • 2009–10
  • 2010–11
  • 2011–12
  • 2012–13
  • 2014–15
  • 2016–17
  • 2017–18
  • 2018–19

More: 2023 Golden Globe nominees

Who has won the most MVP awards in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL?

In the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar He won the MVP six times between 1971 and 1980, including three times each with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell was 5 shots behind by 1 shot from 1958 to 1965, and Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan tied Russell’s record from 1988 to 1998.

LeBron James is the closest modern player to Abdul-Jabbar’s astonishing total, winning the MVP twice with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. .

quarterback Peyton Manning He is still the player with the most NFL MVP titles, winning the MVP with the Indiana Colts in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009, and winning the MVP with the Denver Broncos in 2013, a total of 5 times.

Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers, now a veteran with the New York Jets, is ranked behind due to what he accomplished with the Green Bay Packers from 2011 to 2021, while Tom ·Tom Brady is one of four players to win three championships.

In baseball, the left fielder Barry Bonds He is the record holder of seven MVP awards from 1990 to 2004.

Bonds won the award twice with the Pittsburgh Pirates and five times with the San Francisco Giants, and his four-game winning streak from 2001 to 2004 put him four more than any other player.

They finished second overall but had three players score a hat trick: Mike Trout (2014-2019), Albert Pujols (2005-2009) and Alec Rodriguez (2003-2007).


Hart Memorial Trophy dominates NHL hockey Wayne GretzkyHe won eight MVP awards with the Edmonton Oilers and one with the Los Angeles Kings from 1980 to 1989.

Gretzky’s exceptional talent meant he won the trophy every year in the 1980s except 1988, three times ahead of Gordie Howe, who played for the Detroit Red Wings between 1952 and 1963 Six championships.

Eddie Shore won four MVPs for the Boston Bruins in the 1930s, finishing third. Two of the modern-day players are three-time champions: Alexander Ovechkin, who played for the Washington Capitals from 2008 to 2013, and Connor McDavid, who played from 2017 to 2023. With the Oilers.

If we consider the Ballon d’Or as an award on par with the MVP award, then Messi would need one more Ballon d’Or to be ranked second on our list, and two Ballon d’Ors to match the “great player” Sit on equal footing.

player sports MVP Awards
Wayne Gretzky hockey 9
Lionel Messi rugby/soccer 7
Barry Bonds baseball 7
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar basketball 6
Peyton Manning football 5

Will Messi be the 2023 MLS MVP?

Despite having only played six games in the league at the time, Messi became one of 30 candidates for the October 2023 MVP award after being nominated by Inter Miami.

The prolific forward, who helped Miami win the League Cup but missed the playoffs with his new club, was not on the shortlist. FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta, LAFC’s Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga and Messi’s compatriot Atalanta’s Thiago Almada make up the final three players.

However, Messi could win the Rookie of the Year award, where he will compete with St. Louis City midfielder Edouard Loving and Atlanta United forward George Giakoumakis.

Who has won the most Ballon d’Ors?

rank player golden globe award
years earned
1. Lionel Messi 7 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012,
2015, 2019, 2021
2. cristiano ronaldo 5 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016,
3. Michael Platini 3 1983, 1984, 1985
Johan Cruyff 3 1971, 1973, 1974
Marco van Basten 3 1988, 1989, 1992
6. Franz Beckenbauer 2 1972, 1976
ronaldo 2 1997, 2002
Alfredo Di Stefano 2 1957, 1959
Kevin Keegan 2 1978, 1979
Karl Heinz Rummenigge 2 1980, 1981

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