5 youngest footballers to win the Ballon d'Or
Ballon d'Or is the most significant individual award a footballer can get. It is given to the best player over the course of the calendar year. For the last ten years, it has been dominated by two footballers - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But never before has a player been contending for the prestigious award for ten straight years. It was once expected only for a player that has reached his peak to get named the best in the world.
While most footballers are at their best at the age of 27 till 30, some reach their prime much earlier. These are the five youngest footballers that have won the Ballon d'Or.
#5 Oleh Blokhin in 1975 (23 years, 2 months)
Ukrainian legend Oleh Blokhin was a part of the famous Dynamo Kyiv side in the 70s and 80s that won two UEFA Cup Winners Cups.
In 1975 Blokhin became the 2nd Soviet footballer to win the Ballon d'Or. He won by a landslide, beating the likes of Franz Beckenbauer and Johan Cruyff. Ukrainian striker was only 23 years old at the time.
Blokhin's most spectacular moment in 1975 and possibly his whole career was the win against the star-studded Bayern Munich in UEFA Super Cup. After winning their first Cup Winners Cup, Dynamo Kyiv had to play the European Cup champions. The Soviet side beat Bayern in both games, recording a 3:0 on aggregate. Blokhin scored all three goals and his performance didn't go unseen.
For years Real Madrid tried to sign the talented striker but was always denied. Including in 1981 when Blokhin finished 5th in Ballon d'Or voting. The transfer was reportedly agreed but the Soviet authorities cancelled it in the last moments. Blokhin did leave the Soviet Union eventually but only long after his prime.