5 youngest Ballon d'Or winners in history
The Ballon d'Or is the biggest individual honour in club football and is handed out by France Football annually to the most exemplary performer of the calendar year. Since its inception in 1956, several players from different nationalities have picked up the prized accolade and as far as personal recognition goes in the game of football, the France Football showpiece is the pinnacle.
The winner is picked by a combination of votes from journalists, coaches and national team captains and the award has been a global prize since 2007 - meaning any active player in world football is eligible for the game. Lionel Messi became the first player in history to win the award for a record-breaking 6th time in 2019, beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk to the award.
Multiple long-standing records have been broken by the Argentine in his illustrious career, but one record he will not be able to break is become the youngest recipient of the award. That said, here are 5 of the youngest Ballon d'Or winners in the history of the sport.
#5 Oleg Blokhin (1975; 23 years, 1 month, 25 days)
Oleg Blokhin won the Ballon d'Or at the age of 22 for his exploits with Dinamo Kyiv at the time. Having spent the lion's share of his career with the Ukranian club, the Tzar, as he was nicknamed, went on to define a new era for Soviet footballers, as he broke numerous long-standing records on his way to being named European Football of the Year.
By winning the Ballon d'Or in 1975, he became the second-youngest recipient of the award at the time and till date, is only the only Ukranian to pick up the prized accolade. With 266 goals in his glittering 18-year spell at Dinamo Kyiv, Blokhin is the greatest player to have represented the club and tops the all-time charts for goals and appearances for the Ukranian outfit.
The legendary attacker has left his mark in the game and also had numerous stints as a manager and was most recently at the helm of Dinamo Kyiv in 2014. Blokhin is one of the greats of the game and won several titles in his professional career, but will feel like he should have made the switch to Real Madrid when the opportunity arose.
Los Blancos were reportedly desperate to land him in the 1970s and the attackers will feel like that was one that got away, despite retiring as an all-time great in 1990.