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Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois slams Ballon d’Or chiefs after best keeper award win as Iker Casillas slates decision

REAL Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois has taken a dig at the Ballon d’Or organisers after being voted last season’s finest shot-stopper but missing out on a place on the best player podium.

The 30-year-old was awarded the Yashin Trophy for his feats between the sticks but only ended up in seventh place for the main prize which went to his teammate Karim Benzema.

Courtois won the Yashin Trophy at the awards ceremony on Monday night
Casillas feels Courtois should have been in the top three for the Ballon d’Or

Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas criticised his omission from the top three in a Twitter rant after Monday night’s ceremony, describing him as the “world’s best keeper”.

He added: “What I’m not happy about is that he was not included in the final podium for the Ballon d’Or.

“I still don’t understand what those who choose this award base themselves on.”

Courtois then went a step further in an interview after the Paris ceremony by describing the Yashin Trophy as “invented” and insisting he believed it was “impossible” a keeper would ever win the coveted prize again.

The ex-Chelsea goalie posted a photo of him with the trophy on Instagram alongside Benzema and Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and wrote: “Very honoured to win this.

“I would like to share this moment with all of you and to thank you for your unconditional support and love.”

But in a post-ceremony TV interview, the Belgian international was asked about the chances of a keeper winning the Ballon d’Or again.

To which he replied: “The truth is that I think it’s impossible. Karim deserved what happened today and we all agree about that.

“But after a season in which I was the goalkeeper and you win the league and your team wins the Champions League final thanks to your saves and you only end up seventh is significant.

“At the end of the day the votes don’t go the goalkeepers’ way which is something you can understand.

“I think there was no defender in the top ten.”

Courtois, who controversially claimed he didn’t get “enough respect” in England after being voted man of the match in the Champions League final, went on to say: “At least they’ve invented this trophy for the best goalkeeper because every year a goalkeeper is more important in his team.

“You have to make the saves and stay like a book behind the goal-line. Let’s hope that one day we’ll do it and we’ll continue to fight for it.”

Courtois’ stunning Israeli model girlfriend Mishel Gerzig, who attended the awards ceremony with her partner, was also quick to congratulate him.

She posted a photo of him accepting the Yashin Trophy and wrote in an Instagram message alongside it: “Can’t have enough words to tell how proud I am of you. You deserve it my life. Congratulations.”

The pretty blonde finished her message with a heart emoticon.

The only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or is Lev Yashin – who the Yashin Trophy is named after – but he claimed the honour way back in 1963.

The legendary shot-stopper played for Dynamo Moscow from 1950 to 1970, as well as internationally for the Soviet Union.

Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer came the closest to repeating Yashin’s feat in 2014 when he finished in third position.

The Yashin Trophy was established in 2019 when it was won by Liverpool’s Allison Becker.

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