Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has vented his frustration after Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema beat him to the 2022 men’s Ballon d’Or award . Lionel Messi, as well as many Blues players, were snubbed for the award and finished outside the top-25. Only Harry Kane and Son Heung-min represented London clubs , with several players from Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool rubbing shoulders with the world’s best.
Just one other goalkeeper, AC Milan’s Mike Maignan, was named inside the top-25 of the Ballon d’Or shortlist alongside Courtois , who placed seventh. The Belgium international played an integral role in Real Madrid’s success last season, winning La Liga, the Supercopa de España and the Champions League. And, while Courtois impressed across the board, it was in the latter competition where he proved that he’s worthy of the 2022 Yashin Trophy – an award which honours the best performing goalkeeper.
He put in a man-of-the-match performance in the Champions League final versus Liverpool. After the ceremony, Courtois struggled to hide his anger at finishing seventh in the Ballon d’Or rankings. The Belgian congratulated his teammate Benzema but claimed that it’s impossible for a goalkeeper to win said award. As quoted by Belgian site DH , Courtois said:
“I’m very happy for Karim Benzema. I’m not saying I would have won it, but I’m not even on the podium being the goalkeeper who won La Liga and the Champions League. “It seems that scoring a goal is better than stopping it. It is a battle that remains to be won. Seeing the logic and knowing how they vote, I knew I would have no chance of winning it. “A future winning goalkeeper? I see that as impossible for a goalkeeper,” he added. “It’s impossible to win this award. I don’t know if as a goalkeeper you can do more than what I did last year.”
Courtois remains a somewhat unpopular figure at Stamford Bridge after he abruptly left Chelsea for Real Madrid four years ago. But, despite a sour history, many Blues fans will be able to admit that the Belgian has gone on to further establish himself as one of the world’s best goalkeepers.