Thibaut Courtois Joins Others to Slam Ballon d’Or Rankings

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Real Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois revealed it’s a disappointment to have been rated seventh place finish in the just concluded Ballon d’Or rankings, despite winning the Lev Yashin Trophy.

The 30-year-old Belgium national team goalie finished seventh in the 2022 Ballon d’Or ranking, despite his significant role in Real Madrid’s Champions League and LaLiga double victory.

Thibaut Courtois was voted the best goalkeeper in the 2022 Ballon d’Or award ceremony, organized by France Football in Paris on Monday.

The bone of contention was that Courtois believed being placed behind teammate Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah, and Kylian Mbappe in the shortlist, despite his incredible saves that saw Real Madrid to victory was unfair.

Thibaut Courtois wins Yashin award

The 30-year-old Belgium international also scooped the prize for best goalkeeper, which is named after Lev Yashin, the only goalkeeper to have received the Ballon d’Or in the award’s history in 1963.

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In a press conference after the award ceremony, Courtois revealed he believes it’s “impossible” for a goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or after finishing seventh in the men’s 2022 ranking, despite his crucial roles in winning both Champions League and La Liga titles for Madrid last season.

Thibaut Courtois
Thibaut Courtois

When asked if a goalkeeper could win the award again after Lev Yashin, Courtois said: “The truth is that I think it’s impossible,”

“Obviously Karim deserves it, we all agree with that.

“But after the year I had as a goalkeeper, you win the Champions League, you win the league, you play the Champions League final and your team wins it thanks to your saves, and you only end up seventh […] that says a lot.”

Courtois expressed his displeasure in the exclusion of goalkeepers and defenders who, with their intense commitment and ruggedness rigorously strive and keep opponents away from scoring points.

He added: “The votes don’t go towards goalkeepers. In the top 10 there weren’t any defenders either. It’s what happens. It’s a bit difficult. But at least they gave me the trophy for best goalkeeper”.

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Meanwhile, former Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas has slammed the organizers for omitting Thibaut Courtois from the top three for the Ballon d’Or prize.

Iker Casillas

The former Los Blancos goalkeeper Casillas thinks Courtois should have ranked far higher after he received the Yashin award for the best goalkeeper.

The former Spaniard goalie argues that the 30-year-old Belgium star is by far the best goalkeeper the world has and he deserved more recognition.

Iker Casillas wrote on his Twitter page: ‘I’m very happy for Thibaut Courtois!

“With a huge difference, the best goalkeeper in the world. What I’m not happy about is that he was not included in the final podium for the Ballon d’Or.”

Lev Yashin, who won the Ballon d’Or in 1963, is the only goalkeeper to have ever won the main award.

Whereas, Casillas’ highest finish in the Ballon d’Or shortlist was fourth in 2008, while Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer finished third in 2015.

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Casillas questioned the yardstick organizers of the Ballon d’Or award used in choosing the winner.

He said: ‘I still don’t understand what those who choose this award are based on.’

The ranking met another criticism after Real Madrid came third in the 2022 Club of the Year award section, behind Manchester City and Liverpool; two teams Los Blancos beat on their way to winning the Champions League for the 14th time last season.

Real Madrid midfielder, Toni Kroos tweeted: “Third best team in 2021-22. Happy, Real Madrid?”

Do you think there are faults in the 2021/22 Ballon d’Or rankings? Feel free to drop your comment in the comment section below.

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