The Ballon d'Or was an individual award granted, from 1956 to 2009, by the specialized French magazine France Football to the best European player. It was established by Gabriel Hanot, magazine’s director and forefather of the European Champions Cup. The award was originally intended for players of European nationality only.
The jury was composed of 96 specialized journalists, each from a different country, who choose their five favourite players from a list previously completed by the editor of the magazine. There was no public ceremony for the awarding of the trophy: the name of the chosen player was revealed in the December issue of the magazine, the cover of which displayed the winner posing with the Ballon d'Or.
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