Thibaut Courtois expresses frustration at finishing seventh in Ballon d’Or rankings

Real Madrid shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois has voiced his grievances at the voting system for the coveted Ballon d’Or after finishing in seventh place.

The Belgian international took home the Yashin Trophy for best goalkeeper in 2021/22 – but felt he should have had more.

“I think last season was, for a goalkeeper, very special,” said Courtois, quoted via Cadena SER. “I couldn’t do much more from goal. But seeing the logic of how they vote, I knew I wasn’t going to finish very high.

“It seems that it is more important to score a goal than stopping it,” continued the Belgian as he aired his frustration. “The same happens with defenders, who deserve much more praise.”

Thibaut Courtois also added (via The Mirror), “I see the Ballon d’Or as impossible to win. You win La Liga and you win the Champions League. Your team wins thanks to your saves… and you only finish seventh. At least they created the trophy for best goalkeeper.”

Another Real keeper, the legendary Iker Casillas, echoed Courtois’ frustrations about the Ballon d’Or.

Casillas slams Thibaut Courtois’ Ballon d’Or ranking

Writing on Twitter, the former Spain captain sang the praises of Los Blancos’ current No.1.

“I’m very happy for Thibaut Courtois!” he started, via Daily Mail. “By 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.

“I still don’t understand what those who choose this award are based on.”

Instead of Courtois, Bayern Munich’s Sadio Mane finished second, with Man City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne in third. Karim Benzema deservedly took home his first-ever Ballon d’Or.

However, the Belgian keeper did not go home empty-handed.

Courtois wins Yashin Trophy

Thibaut Courtois won the Yashin Trophy, handed out to the best goalkeeper in the world at the Ballon d’Or ceremony. He beat Brazilian pair Alisson (second) and Ederson (third) to the prize after a standout 2021/22 with Real Madrid.

As well as being part of the team that did a La Liga and Champions League double, Courtois put in some brilliant individual performances. For instance, in the Champions League final, he made an incredible nine saves and kept a clean sheet. His heroics in goal also earned Courtois the Man of the Match award for the Final.

Overall, Courtois kept 22 clean sheets in 52 appearances in all competitions. He had to work for those clean sheets, too. For example, the Belgian made 61 saves in last season’s Champions League. This is 20 more than the next-best keeper!

UEFA recognised Thibaut Courtois’ exploits by naming him as one of the three nominees for UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2022. He finished third in that competition, behind Benzema and De Bruyne once more.

With the World Cup this year and Los Blancos still firing on all cylinders, maybe Courtois can find a way to rise up the Ballon d’Or rankings at next year’s ceremony.

Featured image credit: Getty