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Igor Belanov – The Ballon d’Or winner fighting in the trenches for Ukraine

Igor Belanov – The Ballon d’Or winner fighting in the trenches for Ukraine

The war in Ukraine continues to rage on and living conditions for millions of Ukrainians continue to worsen. The turmoil and chaos had the world at a standstill, with many nations getting involved. 

The impact of the war has transferred onto the football world as well, and football organisations have subsequently condemned Russia’s actions. 

Aside from this, many popular Ukrainian personalities have bravely opted to return and defend their country, including the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko, Vitaliy Wladimir Klitschko, Oleksandr Usyk etc. 

These names were recently joined by another globally revered sports personality, namely Igor Belanov, the 1986 Ballon d’Or winner. 

The 61-year-old is most notably known for his time at Dynamo Kyiv. He scored 40 goals for the side and also helped win the European Cup Winner’s Cup. His successful stint with the Ukrainian outfit eventually led to him winning the Ballon d’Or in 1986, becoming only the 3rd Ukrainian footballer ever to do so. 

Well past his playing days, Belanov, via a Facebook post, revealed that he has taken up arms in defence of his country against the invading Russian forces. He posted a series of pictures, including one where he can be seen holding up a gun at the frontlines. 

He also added an inspirational message for his fellow countrymen, 

“Amazing courage and inexhaustible fighting spirit, All this and much more characterizes our soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We are with you! Peace to Ukraine, and Glory to everyone who confronts the occupiers who boldly came to destroy our Land and our Free, Heroic People!”

Fighting alongside a national hero can be encouraging, to say the least. His involvement is sure to boost the morale of those who grew up watching the striker in his prime.