One of the most coveted individual prizes in football is the Ballon d’Or. The Ballon d’Or is an annual award created by France Football in 1956 that has been awarded by many great players throughout the years.
Only a few journalists were allowed to vote for the Ballon d’Or nominees at first. All national team captains and coaches, however, were given the ability to vote in 2007. The Ballon d’Or became a global prize that year, with players from all over the world competing for it.
The Ballon d’Or, on the other hand, is basically a young player’s honor, with only a few players beyond the age of 30 receiving it. On that point, let’s take a look at the five oldest Ballon d’Or winners throughout the years:
Fabio Cannavaro, #5, was born in the year 2006 and is 33 years and 74 days old.
Fabio Cannavaro won the Serie A title for the first time with Juventus in the 2005-06 season. The defender then took the lead as Italy won their fourth FIFA World Cup victory in 2006.
Because of their role in the historic Calciopoli affair, the Bianconeri’s title was revoked. Cannavaro, on the other hand, had a memorable World Cup campaign, particularly against hosts Germany in the semi-final. Despite his short stature of 5′ 9″, the Azzurri captain put up a defensive masterpiece, winning all of his aerial duels against Miroslav Klose, who is substantially taller.
Cannavaro also excelled in other areas of his game, producing crucial interceptions, tackles, and passes. The 33-year-old set in motion the move that resulted in Italy’s second goal in extra time. It was one of the tournament’s best defensive performances by a player. When Cannavaro won the Ballon d’Or that year, no one could deny it.
Fabio Cannavaro turns 47 today.
The last defender to win the Ballon d’Or 💪 pic.twitter.com/hHniEJ6VRV
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 13, 2020
Cannavaro, now 47, is one of just three defenders who have won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
4 Luka Modric (33 years and 84 days)
When Luka Modric won the Ballon d’Or in 2018, he broke a decade-long duopoly between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Since the turn of the century, the Croatian maestro has been the oldest player to receive the Ballon d’Or trophy.
Despite being a contentious choice for the award after Ronaldo and Messi both had outstanding seasons, Modric was an important player for both club and country during the year. Real Madrid won the Champions League for the 13th time, and for the third time in a row, thanks to Modric. In addition, the 33-year-old led Croatia to the FIFA World Cup final in Russia.
— France Football (@francefootball) December 3, 2018
Croatia won the group stage thanks to goals from the small midfielder against Nigeria and Argentina. Croatia’s run to the title match was aided by Modric’s goals in shootout victories over Denmark and Russia. They lost 2-4 in the final to France, but Modric was awarded the Golden Ball for his efforts in the tournament.