Messi, Ronaldo headline all-time Ballon d'Or XI
The Ballon d’Or award in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris, Friday, July 17, 2020. The prestigious Ballon d’Or will not be awarded this year because the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the soccer season. Awarded by France Football magazine, the Ballon d’Or has been given out every year since Stanley Matthews won the first one in 1956. Lionel Messi has won it a record six times — one more than longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been named among a star-studded cast in the all-time Ballon d’Or XI.

Organisers of the annual prize for the world’s best footballer award, France Football, cancelled this year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead they chose to name the best team in football history made up of current superstars and legends from yesteryear.

The final XI was determined by a voting system involving journalists from 170 different countries to make up the scintillating line-up.

Leading the line in the three-man attack was legendary Brazil striker Ronaldo, flanked either side by his namesake Cristiano and Messi.

Messi, Ronaldo headline all-time Ballon d'Or XI
The all-time Ballon d’Or XI [Courtesy]

Messi has won the individual award more times than any other player, edging out his long-time Portuguese rival Ronaldo by six wins to five.

The other Ronaldo also won a similar version of the award twice during his illustrious career.

Messi, Ronaldo headline all-time Ballon d'Or XI
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi left, and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo during the Champions League group G soccer match between FC Barcelona and Juventus at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

With so many options to choose from at the top end of the field, that pushed global icons Pele and Diego Maradona back into midfield.

They are joined by Germany’s World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaus, and Barcelona’s former midfield maestro Xavi.

That means there was no room for notable omissions such as Zinedine Zidane and Johan Cruyff, or the likes of Ronaldinho or Thierry Henry.

Few would complain with the selection of the back three, though, which contains ex-AC Milan duo Cafu and Paolo Maldini, as well as German great Franz Beckenbauer.

Gianluigi Buffon may also be disappointed not to force his way into the side, as Russian legend Lev Yashin got the nod in goal.

Ballon d’Or all-time XI (3-4-3): Lev Yashin, Cafu, Franz Beckenbauer, Paolo Maldini, Lothar Matthaus, Xavi, Pele, Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Ronaldo Nazario

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