Former striker Igor Belanov, who won the 1986 Ballon d’Or, has joined Ukraine’s military forces in his bid to help his country following Russia’s invasion.
Belanov won eight titles at Dynamo Kiev, having also played for Borussia Moenchengladbach and Eintracht Braunschweig in the 1980s and 1990s.
Currently aged 61, one of three Ukrainian players to win the Ballon d’Or, along with Oleh Blokhin (1975) and Andriy Shevchenko (2004), Belanov has joined the army to protect Ukraine.
The former striker met with the president of the Ukrainian Football Association, Andriy Pavelko, after the latter visited his hometown of Odessa last Wednesday. The two men talked with various military groups and handed out aid and gifts.
Proud of his decision
Belanov posted a series of images of himself holding a gun and posing with other soldiers, taking to Facebook to praise Ukraine’s armed forces.
“‘Amazing courage and inexhaustible fighting spirit,” he wrote.
“All this and much more characterises our soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We are with you.”