Meanwhile Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo was named European Footballer of the Year by the magazine. Sports journalists from around the world voted for who would win the Ballon d’Or, also known as the Golden Ball, and 77 of 96 chose 23-year-old Ronaldo.
Bayern Munich’s French teammate Franck Ribéry was named 16th best player of a list of 30.
German national team star Michael Ballack was the only one of his countrymen to make the list of candidates this year.
The award has been given since 1956 by France Football, a French bi-weekly magazine considered to be one of Europe’s leading publications about the beautiful game.