Why Did Neymar Not Win Ballon D Or? -10 Reasons

Andrew Kovacs

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Why Did Neymar Not Win Ballon D Or

Neymar’s exclusion from the list of Ballon d’Or winners, despite being hailed as one of the most gifted and popular footballers globally, can be attributed to a multifaceted set of circumstances. 

While his undeniable skill and flair on the pitch have garnered worldwide admiration, several factors have consistently prevented him from claiming the prestigious award. 

This shortfall in his accolades is not merely a result of his inconsistency in performances, but also a complex interplay of high-profile injuries, lackluster displays in pivotal matches, a dearth of success in premier competitions, and a controversial public image. 

Additionally, the competitive landscape of football, positional considerations, team dynamics, and his relatively youthful career stage all contribute to the enduring question: Why did Neymar not win the Ballon d’Or?

10 Reasons Why Did Neymar Not Win Ballon D Or?

Neymar Not Win Ballon D Or

Neymar’s failure to win the Ballon d’Or, despite being widely recognized as one of the most talented and popular footballers in the world, can be attributed to a combination of factors.

Here are 10 factors why Neymar never won the ballon d or:

1. Inconsistency in Performances

Neymar’s quest for the Ballon d’Or has been hindered by inconsistency. While he’s enjoyed trophy-laden seasons, injuries, suspensions, and personal issues have disrupted his form.

Unlike rivals Messi, Lewandowski, and Ronaldo, who maintain high-performance levels, Neymar’s sporadic appearances have cost him the award.

2. Performance in Critical Matches

Neymar’s crucial match performances have fallen short. He was notably absent in Brazil’s 2014 World Cup semifinal against Germany and failed to shine in the 2020 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. These high-profile disappointments have hindered his Ballon d’Or chances.

3. Lack of Success in Key Competitions

Neymar’s inability to lead Brazil to a World Cup victory and Paris Saint-Germain’s repeated Champions League disappointments have worked against him. These prestigious tournaments are often decisive factors for the Ballon d’Or.

4. Controversial Behavior and Image

Neymar’s on-field antics, including diving and excessive complaints, have led to disciplinary issues. Off the pitch, he’s faced controversies like tax evasion and pandemic-related partying. 

His image, marred by accusations of selfishness and arrogance, has influenced voters’ opinions, a key element in the Ballon d’Or.

5. Tough Competition

Tough Competition

Neymar has had to contend with stiff competition throughout his career. Players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have consistently performed at an exceptionally high level for over a decade. 

Their enduring excellence has made it challenging for Neymar to emerge as the best player in the world, as the Ballon d’Or is often dominated by these two players.

6. Positional Competition

Neymar primarily operates as an attacking forward or winger. Historically, Ballon d’Or winners have often been central forwards or midfielders, as these positions typically have a more significant impact on the game. 

Neymar’s position may have influenced the voters’ preference for players in more central roles.

7. Club Transfers and Allegations of Disloyalty

Neymar’s high-profile transfers from Santos to Barcelona and later to Paris Saint-Germain raised questions about his loyalty to clubs. 

His world-record transfer fee to PSG created an image of prioritizing financial gains over club loyalty, which may have impacted his reputation among fans and voters.

8. Lack of Individual Records and Milestones

While Neymar has achieved collective success with his teams, he has not consistently broken individual records or reached significant milestones in the same way that Messi and Ronaldo have. 

These milestones, such as setting goal-scoring records or achieving remarkable assists, often weigh heavily in Ballon d’Or considerations.

9. Influence of Teammates

Neymar has often played alongside exceptionally talented teammates, such as Messi at Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe at PSG. 

Some critics argue that his individual brilliance is overshadowed by the presence of these world-class players, making it harder for him to stand out as the best player in the world.

10. Age and Career Stage

Neymar is relatively young, and the Ballon d’Or has often been awarded to more seasoned players who have demonstrated their consistency and impact over an extended period. 

Some voters may believe that Neymar’s time to win the award may come in the future as he continues to mature and develop his career.

Requirements for Winning the Award Ballon D Or

Requirements for Winning the Award Ballon D Or

Winning the Ballon d’Or, which is awarded annually to the world’s best football player, typically requires a combination of exceptional individual and team achievements, along with some intangible factors.

While the exact criteria and the voting process may vary from year to year, the following are common requirements for winning the Ballon d’Or:

Outstanding Performance

The winner of the Ballon d’Or is expected to consistently deliver extraordinary performances on the football pitch.

This entails showcasing exceptional dribbling skills, precise passing, brilliant ball control, and the ability to influence the outcome of matches. 

Players must demonstrate their footballing artistry and exhibit an unmatched level of excellence over the course of a season.

Individual Awards and Records

Breaking or setting individual records and winning prestigious awards can significantly bolster a player’s chances of claiming the Ballon d’Or. 

Achievements like being the top scorer in a league, winning the Golden Boot, or securing the Golden Ball at a major international tournament showcase a player’s dominance and excellence.

Team Success

Team Success

While individual brilliance is crucial, a player’s contribution to the collective success of their team is equally important. 

Winning major domestic league titles, domestic cups, or international tournaments speaks volumes about a player’s ability to lead their team to victory. 

Success in the UEFA Champions League, FIFA World Cup, or Copa America can be particularly influential.


Consistency is a hallmark of the world’s best footballers. Maintaining a high level of performance throughout the entire season, not just in isolated matches, is essential. 

Players who consistently contribute to their team’s success and produce notable performances week in and week out are more likely to garner attention from the Ballon d’Or voters.

Positional Impact

Players in central roles, such as forwards, attacking midfielders, and central midfielders, tend to have a more substantial impact on matches. 

While this does not exclude players in other positions, it emphasizes the importance of their ability to influence the game’s flow and outcome.

Goals and Assists

Goal-scoring ability and assists are fundamental metrics. Players who score a high number of goals, particularly in important matches, or provide numerous assists are often seen as top contenders. These statistics highlight a player’s ability to make a difference in the final third of the pitch.

Consistent Impact

Ballon d’Or candidates must consistently shine in crucial matches, demonstrating their ability to rise to the occasion in high-stakes games, including cup finals, critical league encounters, and international clashes. Delivering in these moments can differentiate a player’s candidacy.

Character and Conduct

The player’s character and behavior both on and off the pitch can sway the Ballon d’Or vote. Respect for opponents and officials, adherence to fair play principles, and maintaining a positive public image are all essential. A player’s conduct is subject to scrutiny, as controversy or disciplinary issues can detract from their candidacy.

Popularity and Media Influence

A player’s popularity and media influence can indirectly affect their chances of winning the award. Factors like fan support, a strong social media presence, and global recognition can make a player more appealing to the voters.

Voting Panel Opinion

The Ballon d’Or is determined by a diverse panel of journalists, national team coaches, captains, and managers. 

Their subjective opinions, knowledge of the game, and personal biases can influence the result. The preferences and expertise of these panel members play a pivotal role in determining the winner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has Neymar never won the Ballon d’Or?

Neymar has not won the Ballon d’Or due to a combination of factors, including inconsistency in performances, a lack of success in critical matches and key competitions, and controversial behavior.

How has Neymar’s injury history affected his Ballon d’Or chances?

Injuries have been a significant factor in Neymar’s failure to win the Ballon d’Or. His frequent injuries have prevented him from maintaining a consistently high level of performance.

Has Neymar’s behavior on and off the pitch affected his Ballon d’Or prospects?

Yes, Neymar’s behavior, including diving, complaining, and off-field controversies, has impacted his public image. This has influenced the opinions of fans, the media, and voters in the Ballon d’Or selection.

How has team success contributed to Neymar’s Ballon d’Or challenges?

Neymar’s inability to lead his teams to victory in major tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Champions League, has hindered his chances. Winning these tournaments is often considered crucial for the award.

What is the role of competition from other football stars in Neymar’s Ballon d’Or journey?

The presence of players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who have consistently performed at a high level for many years, has made it challenging for Neymar to secure the Ballon d’Or.

Wrap Up

In the captivating narrative of football’s most coveted individual accolade, the Ballon d’Or, Neymar’s enduring quest remains a tale of near misses and complex determinants. 

While his prodigious talent is undeniable, his inability to secure the prestigious award emerges as a result of a multifaceted confluence of factors. 

Inconsistencies in performance, critical match underperformances, and a shortfall in guiding his teams to pinnacle victories are notable contributors. 

Additionally, the controversial facets of his behavior both on and off the pitch have marred his image. It’s also vital to recognize the formidable competition he faces year after year. 

Neymar’s journey to the Ballon d’Or continues, reflecting the intricate blend of artistry, influence, and character required for the sport’s highest individual honor.

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Andrew Kovacs

I am a Head Boys Soccer Coach at Amherst Regional Public Schools in Massachusetts. I have coached for the past five years and I am currently working on my master's degree in Exercise Science. I coach soccer because I love the game and I enjoy being around the kids. It is rewarding to see them develop their skills and grow as individuals. LinkedIn

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