Will Another Goalkeeper Ever Win The Ballon d’Or?

Will Another Goalkeeper Ever Win The Ballon d’Or?
Will Another Goalkeeper Ever Win The Ballon d’Or?

Will Another Goalkeeper Ever Win The Ballon d’Or?

As we enter the final stages of 2022, attention is once again turning toward the distribution of one of the most prestigious prizes in professional sports. Collective honors may be the bread and butter of superstar performers around the world, but it is individual recognition that separates the best from the rest.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise to find that the mercurial talents of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – with 12 Golden Balls between them – have cemented their standing among the all-time greats with unworldly exploits that few can ever hope to emulate.

Silverware

There may be more to come from them in the 2022-23 campaign, with football odds today casting a discerning eye over events such as the Premier League, Champions League, and a global World Cup gathering in Qatar – as the likes of -500 shots Manchester City, +550 Bayern Munich and +400 favorites Brazil position themselves towards the top of those particular markets. Go well in any of those competitions and major silverware is there for the taking.

Another Ballon d’Or will have been handed out long before the destination of the crowns mentioned above are determined, with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema a heavy favorite to add his name to a glittering list of players that can consider themselves to have been the best on the planet at any given time.

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The Frenchman’s exploits over the course of the last 12 months, with 44 goals plundered at club level in 2021-22, would make him a worthy recipient of a trophy that should mark the peak of any professional career.

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Going back-to-back in that particular department is no easy feat, despite Messi and Ronaldo making it appear that way for well over a decade, and the chances are that France Football’s fabled prize will end up in the hands of another in 2023.

Will Another Goalkeeper Ever Win The Ballon d’Or?
Will Another Goalkeeper Ever Win The Ballon d’Or?

With the Ballon d’Or becoming a seasonal event, rather than a calendar year one, performances at the 2022 World Cup finals could go a long way toward determining who is next to take the top spot on the podium. Some big names are already being added to the pot, with many of those very much in the business of hitting the back of the net.

What, though, of those at the other end of the field? While goals will forever win games, the value of defensive solidity and the collection of regular clean sheets should not be underestimated. Said efforts do, however, have a tendency to sail under the radar.

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Headlines

While attacking talent dominates headlines and makes legends of those that master the art of delivering end product in the final third, those in the defensive department often have to make peace with earning little more than unsung hero status.

In the 65-year history of the Ballon d’Or, only one goalkeeper has ever topped the polls and walked away with first prize. Lev Yashin, flat cap and all, was the man to achieve that feat in 1963, but will he ever be emulated and can the likes of Alisson, Ederson, Thibaut Courtois et al force their way into that picture during the current era?


Published on: October 17, 2022. at: 3:26 pm

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