Former Atletico Madrid midfielder Paulo Futre believes that the 1987 Ballon d’Or should have been won by him, and has made an extraordinary accusation of Silvio Berlusconi.
The 1987 Ballon d’Or, given to the best football player in Europe as judged by a panel of sports journalists from UEFA member countries, was in the end awarded to AC Milan midfielder Ruud Gullit 33 years ago.
He received 106 votes while Futre – who has just joined Atletico from Porto – was second with 91 points. Gullit was coming off the back of a season with PSV Eindhoven in which he netted 28 goals in 38 appearances (as per Wikipedia) across all competitions playing as a second striker.
Futre meanwhile scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for Porto, however during an interview with Mundo Deportivo confirmed that he was amazed that he did not win the Ballon d’Or in 1987.
“I really thought I would win the prize, but it was won by Gullit, newcomer to Milan from the Dutch championship. He was a champion and certainly deserved to win a Golden Ball or several,” he said.
“But that year he had won only the Dutch championship and had been with the Rossoneri for a few months. Berlusconi was said to have rigged the prize to deliver it to his stellar purchase.”
Futre then added that he had heard rumours of a direct intervention by Berlusconi to make the Dutchman win the prize.
“One of the particularly strange votes was from a Portuguese journalist who intentionally snubbed me and who refused to explain why for my whole life. Personally I say only this: the Champions League against the Dutch league. Frankly, I don’t know what else I could have done that year to deserve it.”