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5 stars who have won the Ballon d'Or but not the World Cup

Sandesh Naik
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
13.69K   //    07 Jun 2018, 11:37 IST

FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2014
FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2014

The Ballon d’Or is a quite a prestigious award. But ask any footballer what he’d prefer over that and the World Cup and the obvious answer is going to be the latter. Why? Simply because football is a team sport.

Over the years, we’ve seen some of the best footballers excel at club level and lift the prestigious Ballon d’Or award along with a plethora of titles with their sides, but international football is a whole different ball game and it’s often hard to find consistency.

In this article, we take a look at five players who have lifted the Ballon d’Or but have failed to win the FIFA World Cup


#5 Lev Yashin

The only goalkeeper to have won the Ballon d’Or, Yashin sure was one of a kind. In fact, just google Lev Yashin’s name and the sheer number of individual awards the Russian has won will blow your mind. Nicknamed the ‘Black Spider’ because of how good his reflexes were, Yashin often left forwards flabbergasted with his gravity-defying saves.

The Russian was a one-club man having represented Dynamo Moscow 326 times. He also played a healthy 74 times for the Soviet Union. The custodian picked up four European goalkeeper of the year awards before finally picking up the Ballon d’Or award in the year 1963.

Yashin picked up the award ahead of the likes of Gianni Rivera and Jimmy Greaves who themselves were legends of the game.

In the subsequent years, Yashin inspired a different breed of keepers, like Sepp Maier, Oliver Kahn and Manuel Neuer who were never afraid to venture out of their box and make saves that would leave the fans in awe.

Despite featuring in four World Cups, though, the Soviet Union always fell short, denying the legendary goalkeeper the chance to get his hands on the elusive World Cup trophy.

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Sandesh Naik
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