It's a dream for every professional footballer to win at least one Ballon d'Or. Most of the time this individual award goes to the goal-scorers and play-makers. Because their impact is more visible in a match.
They change the scoreline by scoring and assisting, while defenders and keepers try to stop opponents from scoring goals.
The Ballon d'Or was first awarded in 1956. Due to the disruption to world sport in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, no one was awarded in 2020.
So far 64 times players have been awarded this award. Only once the award was snatched by a keeper.
Today, The Business Standard (TBS) shares the story of that only kipper who won the Ballon d'Or.
It was Soviet Union's (Russia) legend Lev Ivanovich Yashin who won this prestigious award in 1963. His influence on his position was supernatural.
The shot-stopper was known as 'the Black Spider'. His movement speed, reflex and obviously his dark blue jersey were behind this nickname. He was also one of the first keepers to favor the punch to clear high balls.
Once the legend said, "what kind of a goalkeeper is the one who's not tormented by the goal he has allowed? He must be tormented! And if he is calm, that means the end."
Yashin helped the Soviet Union to achieve gold in the 1956 Olympics. After four years, in 1960 they won the first Euro. They got victory over Yugoslavia by beating 2-1 in the Parc des Princes final.
He saved more than 150 spot-kicks during his career. Interestingly, this is another record.
Out of fun once Yashin said, "the joy of seeing Yuri Gagarin (pioneering cosmonaut) flying in space is only superseded by the joy of a good penalty save".
The Russian died in 1990 and to show honor, the FIFA Golden Glove Award was introduced as the Lev Yashin Award in 1994. In 2010 the name was rechristened.
In 2019, France Football named a trophy after his name, Yashin Trophy. That year Brazilian Allison Becker won the award. It's considered as goalkeepers' Ballon d'Or.