Real’s Courtois says keepers not getting just desserts

Thibaut Courtois was named Man of the Match at last season’s Champions League final but, the Belgian goalkeeper came seventh in the Ballon d’Or rankings on Monday, which drew frustration at how the trophy for the world’s best player is awarded.

Courtois, whose brilliant saves helped Real keep Liverpool at bay before Vinicius Junior scored the only goal in Paris in May, collected the Lev Yashin trophy for the best keeper, but it felt too little.

“I couldn’t have had a better season, especially with the saves in the Champions League. As a keeper, you can’t do more, winning the league and the Champions League the way we did,” Courtois told Reuters after the ceremony before the main award went to his Real teammate Karim Benzema.

Last year, goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma finished 10th in the Ballon d’Or rankings after being named Man of the Match in Italy’s victory against England after a penalty shootout in the European Championship final.

“Naturally, being in the top 10, it’s fantastic, but unfortunately, when voting comes, keepers are being overlooked with strikers, being favoured,” said Courtois.

“It’s not such a big deal, but keepers are underestimated, although we’ve been participating in the game much more, sometimes almost as playmakers,”

Yashin of the then USSR is the last and only keeper to win the Ballon d’Or award, way back in 1963.

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