Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has hit out at Ballon d’Or voters for not giving goalkeepers greater consideration.
Courtois, who won the Yashin Trophy for the best goalkeeper in 2021/22, came seventh in the overall rankings.
His team-mate Karim Benzema won the Ballon d’Or Award, Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich) and midfielder Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City) came second and third.
The Belgium goalie says he does not believe he ever stood a chance of winning the Ballon d’Or this year because he is a goalkeeper.
Before the men’s prize was awarded to his team-mate Karim Benzema, Courtois picked up the Yashin Trophy which is given to the best goalkeeper for the 2021-22 season when he won the La Liga title and the Champions League.
Courtois’ fine campaign was capped off by winning the player of the match award in the Champions League final against Liverpool.
The Belgium international became just the third recipient of the Yashin Trophy, which was first handed out in 2019, after Alisson Becker and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
However, in the overall Ballon d’Or rankings, Courtois came seventh and was only one of two goalkeepers on the shortlist. AC Milan’s Mike Maignan came joint-25th.
Courtois said afterwards he “knew” he was not going to be in contention for the most prestigious individual prize in men’s football.
“I’m not saying I would have won it,” he said.
“But I’m not even on the podium being the goalkeeper who has won La Liga and the Champions League.
“First of all, I am very happy for Karim Benzema. It seems that scoring a goal is better than stopping it. A battle that remains to be won.
“Seeing the logic and knowing how they vote, I knew that I would have no chance of winning it.”
The last time a goalkeeper won the Ballon d’Or was Russia’s Lev Yashin in 1963. Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is the only one to make the top three since 2006 when he finished behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in 2014.
Courtois says it is currently “impossible” for a goalkeeper to win the award.
He said: “I see it as impossible, for a goalkeeper it is impossible to win this award. I don’t know if as a goalkeeper you can do more than what I did last year.”
Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas echoed Courtois’ frustrations. The highest Ballon d’Or ranking Casillas achieved in his decorated career was fourth in 2008 after winning the La Liga title and the European Championships with Spain.
He wrote on Twitter: “By far he [Courtois] is the best goalkeeper in the world.
“What I’m not happy about is not having him put on the final podium for the Ballon d’Or. I still don’t understand what those who choose this award are based on.”