Revealed: The secret that prolonged Ballon d’Or winner’s career by 10 YEARS

The Ballon d'Or trophy in 2023, as held by Lionel Messi at the ceremony in Paris held by France Football
(Image credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

In inaugural Ballon d'Or winner Sir Stanley Matthews’ pioneering pomp, the Wizard of the Dribble’s speed wowed as much as his supernatural footwork. 

During the 1930s and 1940s, as many as 10,000 extra fans would squeeze through turnstiles whenever the legendary winger was in town, desperate to see the sinuous genius shimmy past defenders. The secret to this incredible lightness of being? 

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Ed McCambridge
Staff Writer

Ed is a staff writer at FourFourTwo, working across the magazine and website. A German speaker, he’s been working as a football reporter in Berlin since 2015, predominantly covering the Bundesliga and Germany's national team. Favourite FFT features include an exclusive interview with Jude Bellingham following the youngster’s move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020, a history of the Berlin Derby since the fall of the Wall and a celebration of Kevin Keegan’s playing career.