‘Not happy’ – Iker Casillas reacts to Thibaut Courtois being snubbed for Ballon d’Or podium spot
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A frustrated Iker Casillas has admitted that he is “not happy” that Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois was snubbed from a top-three finish in the Ballon d’Or rankings.
Courtois attended the Ballon d’Or ceremony on Monday night and watched on as Madrid teammate Karim Benzema scooped France Football’s sought-after award.
The 30-year-old Madrid shot-stopper didn’t leave the event empty-handed, with Courtois winning France Football’s Yashin Trophy for the best-performing goalkeeper.
Courtois, who is in his fifth season at Madrid, played an integral part in his side’s campaign last season en route to the La Liga title and Champions League trophy.
However, the Belgium No 1 only managed a seventh-place finish in the 2022 Ballon d’Or rankings, finishing behind the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah.
Casillas on Monday took to Twitter to congratulate Courtois for his Yashin Trophy win and said he was “very happy” for the former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid star.
However, the Spain and Madrid legend was quick to vent his frustration over Courtois being left out of a spot on the Ballon d’Or podium.
“I’m very happy for Thibaut Courtois!” Casillas tweeted to his 9.7m followers.
“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.
Me alegro por @thibautcourtois ! Con diferencia es el MEJOR PORTERO del MUNDO. De lo que no me alegro, es de no haberle metido en el podio final para ese #BallonDor . Sigo sin entender en que se basan los que eligen este premio.— Iker Casillas (@IkerCasillas) October 17, 2022
“I still don’t understand what those who choose this award are based on.”
Lev Yashin remains the only goalkeeper in history to have lifted the Ballon d’Or, with the Russian legend winning the award in 1963.
Casillas’ highest ranking for the Ballon d’Or was fourth in 2008, while Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer finished third for France Football’s prize in 2014.
Speaking after Benzema’s Ballon d’Or triumph, a visibly disappointed Courtois spoke out against the award’s voting process and believes it is “impossible” for a goalkeeper to win.
Chelsea legend Petr Cech previously suggested that it was unlikely Courtois would win the Ballon d’Or due to how difficult it was for goalkeepers of the past to challenge for the award.
“Well, he was a key player obviously for his team, because he made vital and important saves in the [Liverpool] game, and of course, without his saves, they would have lost,” he said in June.
“You always need everybody to perform in the big game, in the Champions League final, and he was the main man and obviously deservedly won the player of the match.
“He’s had an amazing campaign, literally from the start to finish, and in the Champions League, so it was not a surprise.
“I think that there will always be an issue with goalkeepers being involved in [the Ballon d’Or], because in the past, [Gianluigi] Buffon, even [Iker] Casillas, there were some goalkeepers who probably should have been much closer to winning the award.
“But we know that for the goalkeeper it is very particular to be compared with the players and to get anywhere near them.
“Everybody loves to see goals and assists and great skills going forward, and this is what football is about.”