Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Fabrizio Romano names the ex-Premier League player he thinks should’ve made the Ballon d’Or top three

Fabrizio Romano names the ex-Premier League player he thinks should’ve made the Ballon d’Or top three

In his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, Fabrizio Romano responded to last night’s Ballon d’Or results, saying he broadly agrees with the final three, but naming one player he’d like to have seen make the cut.

Karim Benzema won the Ballon d’Or for 2022, and few would argue with that decision after his incredible form this year, which helped Real Madrid win the Champions League.

Sadio Mane of Bayern Munich and former Liverpool star finished second, while Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne finished third.

However, Romano believes that Real Madrid and former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois deserved a spot in the top three after his outstanding performances this year, while also pointing out that goalkeepers and defenders are frequently overlooked when it comes to individual awards.

“I agree with the top three, I’d just have included Thibaut Courtois too! He’s been incredible for Real Madrid in the last year and I think goalkeepers and defenders deserve better consideration,” Romano said.

“On Benzema, I think after Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to leave Real something has changed for him and it’s the perfect moment to win such a fantastic award.”

Courtois’ final ranking was seventh, and while he did win the Yashin award for best goalkeeper of the year, you can see Romano’s point about him being underrated.

The Belgian shot-stopper was the star of Real Madrid’s Champions League final victory over Liverpool, making a series of spectacular saves to ensure Carlo Ancelotti’s side kept a clean sheet and held on to the trophy.

See below for the final top 10 in full…

10. Erling Haaland (Manchester City and Norway)

9. Luka Modric (Real Madrid and Croatia)

8. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid and Brazil)

7. Thibaut Courtis (Real Madrid and Belgium)

6. Kylian Mbappe (PSG and France)

5. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool and Egypt)

4. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona and Poland)

3. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)

2. Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich and Senegal)

1. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France)

Fabrizio Romano names the ex-Premier League player he thinks should’ve made the Ballon d’Or top three

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