5 Oldest players to win the Ballon d'Or

The Ballon d
The Ballon d'Or
Siddarth N
Modified 11 Feb 2020

Since the inception of the Ballon d'Or in 1956, the prized award has been handed out annually to the best performer of the calendar year in the world of football, and players from several nationalities have picked up the prize.

A handful of players, past and present, have said that winning the Ballon d'Or is arguably the greatest achievement one can accomplish as a footballer and we continue to see stunning individual performances year after year, as footballers continue to defy the odds with their consistent brilliance.

While Lionel Messi has won the award more times than any other player in history, as he did so for the record-breaking 6th time in 2019, Ronaldo Nazario is the youngest recipient of the award, having won it in 1997 for his otherworldly season with Barcelona at the time.

In this article, we roll back the years and look at 5 of the oldest winners of the Ballon d'Or and behold - there is a record in here that looks extremely unlikely to be broken in the game's history.

#5 Fabio Cannavaro (2006, 33 years, 2 months, 14 days)

Fabio Cannavaro with the award in 2006
Fabio Cannavaro with the award in 2006

Fabio Cannavaro was awarded the Ballon d'Or in 2006 for his outstanding performance in the 2006 World Cup, as he marshalled the Italian rearguard expertly on their way to winning the competition as captain.

The legendary defender is the last defender to win the award till date and retired as Italy most capped player in history, surpassing the iconic Paolo Maldini.

Known for his impeccable positional sense, never say die attitude and physicality, Cannavaro is one of the greatest defenders to have graced the game and won the Ballon d'Or aged 33, a prime example of how good he was despite being on the wrong side of 30.

The Italian was an example to any up and coming defender and retired in 2011 after a brief stint with Al-Ahli. He is currently the manager of Guangzhou Evergrande in the Chinese Super League.

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Published 11 Feb 2020, 00:20 IST
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