After his decisive performance in the Champions League final, the name of Thibaut Courtois has gained strength as a candidate to win the Ballon d’Or. However, we already know how complicated it is for a goalkeeper to win this precious award, since only Lev Yashin has managed to win it from post.
Throughout history there have been several goalkeepers who deserved this award and have been on the verge of winning a Ballon d’Or but finally fell short:
He has been the only goalkeeper who has fought face to face with Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. The year 2014 of Neuer we can classify as his Prime. He could not win the award, Cristiano raised the title by having won the Tenth.
He was nominated six times for the Ballon d’Or lists. His best position was achieved after the 2008/2009 season in fourth position. El Santo could never be done with the Ballon d’Or, the Spanish have had very bad luck in the last 20 years with this award.
Gianluigi Buffon was nominated in 2004 and finished in 21st position. In 2017 he was in 4th position. He is an absolute football legend, at 44 years of age he is still playing for Parma.
Oliver Kahn was the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or podium two years in a row. In 2001 and 2002 he was the third best player of the year. The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has been a legend of German football, in 2008 he decided to hang up the gloves.
One of the best Danish players, Peter Schmeichel, was one of the ten finalists for the Ballon d’Or in 1997. He came in at number 8. His son Kasper has not lived up to him. He managed to win the Premier League that Leicester won but he has never been in the focus of the best goalkeepers.
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