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Soccer

Courtois not in with a realistic shot at Ballon d’Or, says Cech

Petr Cech thinks outfield players always have the upper hand when it comes to the Ballon d’Or voting, hurting Thibaut Courtois’ chances.

Update:
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Liverpool v Real Madrid - Stade de France, Saint-Denis near Paris, France - May 28, 2022 Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois celebrates winning the champions league with the trophy REUTERS/Molly Darlington/File Photo
MOLLY DARLINGTONREUTERS

Thibaut Courtois is unlikely to win the Ballon d’Or because goalkeepers will always lose out to goalscoring outfielders, says Petr Cech.

It was suggested Courtois could be in with a chance of winning the award following his man-of-the-match performance in Real Madrid’s 1-0 Champions League final victory over Liverpool, although he said it was “impossible”.

He made nine saves in the match – the most by a goalkeeper in a final in the competition since at least the 2003-04 season – and prevented 2.5 goals according to Opta’s expected goals on target metric.

Courtois also led the way in goals prevented as Madrid won LaLiga, with his 4.9 putting him top of the charts.

Benzema the favourite for Ballon d’Or

Cech praised the former Chelsea goalkeeper but suggested the Ballon d’Or is likely out of his reach, with Karim Benzema the favourite to take the accolade.

“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,” Cech told Stats Perform ahead of Sunday’s Soccer Aid charity match.

“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.”

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