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Official Ballon d'Or account has been 'community noted' for getting winner wrong

Official Ballon d'Or account has been 'community noted' for getting winner wrong

Former England international Gary Lineker has reacted to the mistake.

The official Ballon d'Or account was 'community noted' by social media platform X after they made an unfortunate mistake during Monday night's ceremony.

A host of football's biggest names were present at the Theatre du Chatelet venue in Paris, including former England international Gary Lineker, who handed Erling Haaland the prestigious Gerd Muller Trophy.

Lineker was introduced to those in attendance by Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, and soon opened up about presenting Match of the Day in his pants after Leicester City won the Premier League title in 2016.

To mark the occasion, Ballon d'Or's official X account posted footage of the on-stage segment involving Lineker.

But they wrongly called the former Leicester, Barcelona and Spurs striker a Ballon d'Or winner in their caption. It read: "Ladies and Gentlemen, @GaryLineker 1986 Ballon d'Or winner ! #BallondOr."

X, formerly known as Twitter, corrected the account, saying: "The Ballon d'Or winner in 1986 was Igor Belanov for Dynamo Kyiv. Gary Lineker came second."

Lineker soon responded to the gaffe with a cheeky comment of his own. He wrote: "I’ll take that. Could you send me the trophy please? [laughing emoji]".

Image credit: X/@ballondor
Image credit: X/@ballondor

Soviet forward Belanov scooped the Ballon d'Or prize in 1986 after an impressive World Cup campaign, although Lineker maintains that he deserved to lift the title.

At the time, Lineker was arguably in his prime. He was signed by Barcelona for £2.8 million after winning the Golden Boot with England at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.

He would score on hisLa Liga debut before going on to score 21 goals in 41 games during his first season in Spain.

But despite reaching those heights, the Leicester City youth product was beaten to the Ballon d'Or by Belanov, who netted four times at the World Cup as Soviet Union reached the round of 16.

Image credit: X/@ballondor
Image credit: X/@ballondor

Over three decades later and Lineker opened up about Belanov's win during an in-depth interview with L'Equipe.

"I should have won the Ballon d’Or in 1986. If there’s one thing I regret, it is that," he said.

"At that time, only European players were eligible to win the Ballon d’Or, so Diego Maradona couldn’t win it – which he undoubtedly would have done if non-European players were allowed to contend for the prize.

"At that time, it was Diego – and everyone else. It was as if Maradona came from a different dimension.

"But, speaking of everyone else, I do think I deserved the award that year. Igor Belanov had a very, very good game in the World Cup and all journalists from Eastern Europe rallied and voted massively for him."

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Featured Image Credit: France Football/Ballon d'Or

Topics: Ballon d'Or, Gary Lineker, Didier Drogba