Home Ukraine invasion WAR Former Ballon d’Or winner joins Ukrainian army to fight Russia

WAR Former Ballon d’Or winner joins Ukrainian army to fight Russia

Former Ballon d’Or winner, Igor Belanov, has joined Ukraine’s military forces to help his country in the ongoing war against Russia.

Belanov, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1986, joined the army a few days after the Russian forces struck Odesa, his region, with missiles.

The striker won eight titles at Dynamo Kiev and also played in Germany for Borussia Moenchengladbach and Eintracht Braunschweig in the 1980s and 1990s

Now 61-year-old, he remains one of three Ukrainian players to win the most prestigious individual award in football, the Ballon d’Or.

The other Ukrainians to have won the award are Oleh Blokhin in 1975 and the 2004 winner, Andriy Shevchenko.

He met with the Ukrainian Football Association president, Andriy Pavelko, after visiting his hometown of Odesa last Wednesday.

The two men talked with various military groups and handed out aid and gifts, according to Marca.

The former striker shared a series of images of himself holding a gun and posing with other soldiers.

He took to Facebook to praise Ukraine’s armed forces.

Amazing courage and inexhaustible fighting spirit, he wrote.

All this and much more characterises our soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We are with you.”

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