Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois has said it’s “impossible” for a goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or.

The 30-year-old finished seventh in the 2022 ranking, despite his crucial role in Los Blancos’ Champions League and LaLiga double.

Courtois was the highest-ranked goalkeeper in the list, but placed behind teammate Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, Kevin De Bruyne, Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah and Kylian Mbappe in the shortlist.

The Belgium international also picked up the prize for best goalkeeper, named after Lev Yashin, the only goalkeeper to receive the Ballon d’Or in the award’s history in 1963.

“The truth is that I think it’s impossible,” Courtois said to RTVE when asked if a goalkeeper could win the award again.

“Obviously Karim deserves it, we all agree with that. But after the year I had as a goalkeeper, you win the Champions League, you win the league, you play the Champions League final and your team wins it thanks to your saves, and you only end up seventh […] that says a lot.

“The votes don’t go towards goalkeepers. In the top 10 there weren’t any defenders either. It’s what happens. It’s a bit difficult. But at least they gave me the trophy for best goalkeeper,” he added.


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