The list of 30 candidates for the 2021 Ballon d’Or includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mohamad Salah and Romelu Lukaku, all vying to be crowned on November 29.
But of all the nominees in this year’s group, there is only one goalie.
In fact, the last keeper to win was the legendary Russian stopper Lev Yashin, in 1963. And it’s starting to squeak on some of the men between the sticks that they’re still overlooked.
Paris St-Germain goalkeeper Keylor Navas said the public were not interested in the goalkeepers’ work.
Navas said: “I think goalkeepers need a Ballon d’Or separate from the rest of the players.
“At this rate, the goalies have no chance of winning because people only care about the number of goals and assists and they never care about our saves.”
The only goalkeeper to be included in this year’s shortlist is Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and we’re sure a few more could have been added and potentially won the Ballon d’Or.
Here are five goalkeepers who are ideal candidates, if goalkeepers had their version of the Ballon d’Or.
With great ambition and confidence, Jordan Pickford led England to the final of the Euro 2020 tournament and challenged himself in the intense penalties against Italy.
During the campaign, Pickford set an all-time England record for the most consecutive scoreless minutes recorded by a goalkeeper, setting the mark of 721 minutes midway through the first half of the semi-final against Denmark who broke the record previously held by Gordon Banks.
Speaking at the Euro 2020 tournament, Pickford said: “You just have to be prepared, the levels of focus have to be high and I have to be 100% throughout the game.”
The Ballon d’Or examines which players have leadership qualities as well as magnificent skills on the pitch and from what we’ve seen over the past year, Jordan Pickford would be the perfect candidate.
Gianluigi Donnarumma made the Ballon d’Or cup after leading his country to victory at Euro 2020, beating England on penalties before being named player of the tournament.
The 22-year-old’s ambition is to keep winning trophies, said Donnarumma: “I hope to play as long as possible, until I’m 40, it’s my passion.
“My goal is to win as many trophies as possible, especially with the Italian national team.
“The incredible dream is to win the Ballon d’Or, I’m going to give it my all and then we’ll see what happens.”
Prior to joining PSG, Donnarumma thrived at AC Milan making 251 appearances in all competitions and keeping 88 clean sheets, which saw the Italian named the Serie A top goalkeeper last season.
This man has a real appetite to be number one.
Named Slovenian footballer of the year five times, Jan Oblak is the ideal candidate.
The 28-year-old was named La Liga’s Player of the Year last season after a string of excellent performances over the home stretch for Atletico Madrid, including two crucial penalties in the final weeks of the race On title.
The Slovenia international played his 304th competitive game with Atlético Madrid and became the club’s most contested goalkeeper, breaking Abel Resino’s previous record.
Oblak has been praised in the media for his work pace, exceptional positioning, footwork, shot-stop abilities and composure in goal, as well as his overall consistency and leadership.
However, it is likely that Oblak was almost forgotten when the time to vote for the shortlist arrived as he did not play in either the later stages of the Champions League or Euro 2020.
But we haven’t forgotten you Jan!
Manuel Neuer has received countless awards throughout his career for Bayern Munich and Germany, from nine Bundesliga titles to the 2014 World Cup trophy, but he has yet to add the Ballon d’Or. to his collection.
This year, Neuer reached his 100th cap with the national team and became the first German goalkeeper to reach that milestone.
For Bayern Munich, the German hit his 200th clean sheet in 394 appearances in a 4-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid last season, overtaking Sepp Maier.
In the Bundesliga, Neuer recorded his 197th draw in 423 appearances, breaking Oliver Kahn’s record of 196 draws in 557 appearances.
Manchester City and Brazil star Ederson has proven his worth time and time again in the Premier League and internationally.
The Brazilian goalkeeper kept 16 clean sheets last season, meaning he won the Premier League Golden Glove for the second time in a row with his club.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has signed Ederson’s praise since signing for the club in 2017.
Guardiola said: “With his feet he’s the best, the quality of the pass, I would say, is the best.
“Manual [Neuer] and Victor [Valdés] were amazing too, but the quality of Ederson’s pass is the best.
“I wouldn’t say who’s the best overall because I’ve had success in the past with incredible goalies in Victor, Manuel and Eddie.
“It’s another example of the recognition Ederson deserves, he gets the credit from the manager, the backroom staff and the players. He is exceptional and he knows it.
Ederson also helped his country reach the Copa America final against Argentina and have kept six clean goals in the previous six games for Brazil.
After winning a third Premier League title in four seasons and securing a second Golden Glove, Ederson would make a deserving Ballon d’Or winner.
Most read on the border
Their boss was the best in FIFA and the striker had retired …
STICK OR TURN
10 reasons Lingard should buy a good deal from the January transfer window
The world according to Gabby: Haaland? Salah? Top 5 of the best players of the moment
Meet 17-year-old Barca and Spain’s next big hit Gavi
Trained by Kompany, loved by Arteta – the truth about Arsenal’s new boy, Lokonga
Rashford gets his first PhD, but here’s the manager with EIGHT awards