Ballon d'Or 2019: Yachine Trophy: the candidates for the award
France Football will present the award for the first time this evening in Paris. Kepa is the only Spanish candidate. Liverpool's Alisson is the big favourite.
The Yachine Trophy (Trophée Yachine) will be awarded for the first time at tonight's Ballon d'Or gala in Paris. Organisers France Football have created the award to recognise the best goalkeeper in Europe during the past year. The Premier League dominates the list of nominees: Alisson (Liverpool), Kepa (Chelsea), Ederson (Manchester City) and Lloris (Tottenham). The Chelsea keeper is Spain's sole representative in the category.
Despite being among the 10 candidates for the Yachine Trophy, three goalkeepers are also up for the Ballon d'Or itself - Alisson, Ter Stegen and Lloris, have a chance, albeit a very slim one, of winning both trophies. Liverpool's Alisson is the big favourite to become the first player to receive the Yachine Trophy.
The award is named after legendary Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin 'The Black Spider' who is considered to be the best goalkeeper in football history and is the only keeper to have won the Ballon d'Or, back in 1963.
The 10 nominees for the Yachine Trophy:
Kepa (Chelsea). On 8 August 2018, Chelsea broke the world transfer record for a goalkeeper, paying Athletic Club 80 million euros for Kepa. He is the only Spanish keeper in this year's list of candidates for the inaugural Yachine Trophy. The 25-year-old enjoyed a great 2018-19 season and his performances were key in the team's successful Europa League campaign. His form has allowed him to wrest the No.1 jersey from David de Gea to become Spain's first choice between the sticks.
Oblak (Atlético de Madrid). The Slovenian has been the rock at the very heart of the Atleti defence since joining the club in 2014. Last season he collected the Zamora Trophy for the fourth year running. He was almost unbeatable as Simeone's troops finished runners-up in LaLiga.
Ter Stegen (Barcelona). His solid displays allowed Barcelona to rack up a lot of points on their way to the league title last season. Only Oblak conceded less goals in LaLiga. The German kept 23 clean sheets in 49 games across all competitions. This season he has let in 19 goals in 18 games.
Handanovic (Inter Milan). Oblak's team mate in the Slovenia national team. Last season he was crowned the best goalkeeper in Serie A, becoming the only non-Italian player to win the award three times. Nicknamed Batman by Inter fans for his acrobatic saves.
Lloris (Tottenham). The French shot stopper was one of the reasons behind Tottenham's superb season - especially in the Champions League with the team going all the way to the final for the first time in history. Lloris, who is currently sidelined with an elbow injury, ended last season with the fifth best figures in the Premier League, averaging one goal conceded per game.
Alisson (Liverpool). A commanding presence who has helped to drastically improve Liverpool's defensive figures. The Reds goalkeeper is the big favourite to win the award. He was practically unbeatable last season in the Premier League, shipping just 22 goals in 38 games and set a new club record for the most clean sheets in one season - unbeaten on 21 ocassions. He capped a stunning year by winning the Champions League with Liverpool and the Copa América with Brazil.
Neuer (Bayern). 2019 wasn't one of his best years, but he figures among the 10 finalists in spite of the fitness problems which made him miss 11 games last season. Bayern were knocked out of the Champions League at the Last 16 stage and that will go against him in the voting.
Ederson (Manchester City). City collected a clean sweep of four domestic trophies last season and their sturdy goalkeeper played a big role in those successes. He finished just behind Alisson in goals conceded, - 22 one more than his compatriot.
Onana (Ajax). At 23, he is the youngest of the finalists. His displays contributed to Ajax reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League and being crowned Dutch champions. He was the scourge of Real Madrid, putting in a brilliant performance when the two teams met in Europe on 5 March, Ajax posting a 1-4 win at the Bernabéu. Last season he conceded 45 goals in 55 games.
Szczesny (Juventus). The Pole finished last season as the goalkeeper with the safest hands in Serie A, seeping 20 goals in 28 matches. Over all competitions, he conceded 32 goals in 41 appearances. He won the league with Juventus and was one of the team's top performers throughout the campaign.
How will be Yachine Trophy winner be decided?
The winner of the 2019 Yachine Trophy will be the player to receive the most votes from a select group of 176 respected journalists, with one representative from each country. The criteria for choosing the best goalkeeper of the year include individual and collective performances, talent and Fair Play and career figures.
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