Pele actually has same number of Ballon d'Ors as Lionel Messi according to France Football
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Lionel Messi leads the way in football with seven-time Ballon d'Or wins but according to France Football, the award organisers, Pele is level with the Argentine legend.
When Pele was playing, he was never eligible for the coveted prize at any point in his glittering career.
The award was set up by journalists Gabriel Hanot and Jacques Ferran and saw England's Stanley Matthews become the inaugural winner in 1956.
However, up until 1995, only footballers from Europe were in contention to win the Ballon d'Or. The rule changed to allow players from any country who were playing for a European club, allowing George Weah of AC Milan and Liberia to claim the award.
Pele won three World Cups with Brazil but never played in Europe, spending the majority of his career scoring goals aplenty for Santos, before joining New York Cosmos in the United States.
However, in 2016, France Football went back and did an "international re-evaluation" to calculate who should have won the Ballon d'Or had it always been a global award to honour the world's best.
As a result, they retrospectively gave Pele the prize in seven out of 12 years: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964 and 1970.
They did it for instances when a Non-European player was the deserving winner and so the likes of Garrincha, Mario Kempes, Diego Maradona (twice) and Romario also got some vital recognition.
France Football also produced a special magazine cover featuring Pele with seven Ballon d'Or trophies - the same incredible amount that Messi has managed.
Pele was also handed a honorary Ballon d'Or at the 2014 Ballon d'Or ceremony for his incredible achievements.
Maradona, meanwhile, received a 'Golden Ballon d'Or' back in 1995 for what he was able to accomplish in the game.
Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano won two Ballon d'Ors in his career but he is also the only recipient of the 'Super Ballon d'Or' award, given out in 1989.
Di Stefano beat Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini to the special gong, which sold for £187,500 in an auction.
Featured Image Credit: France Football & Alamy
Topics: Pele, Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona