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FIFA World Cup – A Ballon d’Or winner joined the war

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FIFA World Cup – Ukraine has three Ballon d’Or winners. But only one has joined the war: Belanov. The 61-year-old former striker is in Odessa because of the war between Russia and the Ukrainians.

By Facundo Di Bona (@facudibona).

Igor Belanov, the winner of the 1986 Golden Ball, joined the Ukrainian armed forces. In an attempt to help his country after Russia’s invasion, the former striker took up arms.

Belanov won 8 titles in the Dynamo Kiev jersey. And he also played for Borussia Moenchengladbach and Eintracht Braunschweig in the 1980s and 1990s. But now, at 61, he followed Oleksandr Usyk to become another Ukrainian sports icon to attend the war.

He is also one of three Ukrainian-born players to win the Ballon d’Or. In addition to Oleh Blokhin (1975) and Andrei Shevchenko (2004).

Belanov also met with the president of the Football Association of Ukraine, Andriy Pavelko. After the latter visited the former player’s hometown of Odessa. The two met for talks with various military groups. As well as to hand out aid and gifts.

The former player posted a series of images of himself holding a gun. As well as photos with other soldiers to upload on Facebook:

“Amazing courage and inexhaustible fighting spirit! All this and much more characterizes our soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine – we are with you!”.

Belanov’s life

Born in Odessa, Belanov began his professional career in his hometown. Where he played for SKA Odessa and Chornomorets Odessa. Eventually – and when the USSR was still standing – he represented the Soviet Union 33 times. He made his debut in 1985 and scored 8 goals in a period of 5 years. He also played in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.

A year later, he was the surprise winner of the Golden Ball. After helping Dynamo Kiev to win the old and extinct European Cup Winners’ Cup. In which they achieved a 3-0 victory over Atlético de Madrid in the final.

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