Ancelotti backs Courtois as Belgian claims The Best snub is down to FIFA criticism

By Sports Desk November 23, 2021

Carlo Ancelotti backed Thibaut Courtois by insisting he would not swap the Belgian for anyone after the Real Madrid star was snubbed for The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper award.

World football's governing body announced its list of nominees for the end-of-year awards on Monday, and Courtois was curiously absent.

Alisson, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Edouard Mendy, Manuel Neuer and Kasper Schmeichel were those confirmed to be in the running for the goalkeeper award.

Courtois, who won the award in 2018, does not believe he has been overlooked because of his performances, rather recent comments he made.

The 29-year-old criticised UEFA and FIFA in October, accusing the institutions of treating players like "robots" amid fixture congestion, claiming those in charge only "care about their pockets" and not those playing the sport.

Speaking on Tuesday ahead of Madrid's Champions League clash with Sheriff, Courtois told reporters: "I'm not going to comment on why I'm not nominated for The Best.

"I think it's because of something I commented on a month ago, but that's it. Whoever gets it wins. The individual awards are not important."

Madrid certainly are not shy about publicly backing their own players for individual awards, with such campaigns frequently seen during Cristiano Ronaldo's time at the club.

More recently, the club has backed Karim Benzema to win the Ballon d'or with social media posts.

But Ancelotti highlighted the greater importance for Courtois to win titles with Madrid, with the Italian adamant he would not change goalkeepers despite FIFA seemingly not rating him among the five best in 2021.

"There are many good goalkeepers in Europe," Ancelotti said. "Others are going to choose [who wins the award], what are we going to do about it?

"We wouldn't want to change him for anyone and I think he doesn't want to change this club for any other. It's a marriage that is fine.

"For him, it is more important to win LaLiga or the Champions League than an individual trophy."

Related items

  • Van Bronckhorst ecstatic as Rangers comeback keeps Champions League qualification dream alive Van Bronckhorst ecstatic as Rangers comeback keeps Champions League qualification dream alive

    Giovanni van Bronckhorst was overjoyed by the memorable comeback instigated by Rangers on Tuesday that set up a Champions League qualification play-off against PSV.

    Rangers lost 2-0 to Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium last week, a result that Van Bronckhorst even felt flattered his team.

    But just as Ibrox proved a dependable fortress en route to the Europa League final last season, home advantage helped Rangers over the line again.

    James Tavernier's penalty on the stroke of half-time was added to by Antonio Colak's close-range header near the hour mark.

    Bayern Munich loanee Malik Tillman then nodded in the crucial goal 12 minutes from time, and Van Bronckhorst – who will go up against his former Netherlands team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy in the next round – was left ecstatic with the 3-2 aggregate success.

    "It's another amazing night in Europe," he said. "There was a lot of pressure on us to deliver and to go through to the next round. We played really well at moments and kept the pressure on them.

    "We know the atmosphere can be very hostile and we created that atmosphere along with the fans. I'm very proud of the performance of my team."

    Rangers only lost once at home in the Europa League last term, a 2-0 defeat to Lyon in September, and Van Bronckhorst once again highlighted the fans' role in their turnaround on Tuesday.

    "We know the fans are always there but if we have a performance like we did today then the crowd will be even more hostile," he continued.

    "They keep pushing us to go forward so at moments in the game you have to make the right decision not to go too quick with your attacks. We knew we were capable of doing this but we keep doing it time after time. And we did it again.

    "They had some chances – the biggest one was saved in the second half. Some chances we just dropped our bodies in front of them to block the shots.

    "It's a big performance. We needed that. I’m very proud of the team. We're still in contention to go to the group stages of the Champions League. We'll to do everything possible to be in the Champions League this season."

  • Marseille confirm deal 'in principle' to sign Alexis Sanchez Marseille confirm deal 'in principle' to sign Alexis Sanchez

    Alexis Sanchez is Ligue 1 bound after Marseille confirmed they had an agreement "in principle" with the former Arsenal and Manchester United forward.

    Inter announced the termination of Sanchez's contract on Monday.

    The Chile international was part of the Inter side that won the Serie A title in the 2020-21 season, while he also scored a dramatic 121st minute winner against Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana in January.

    Marseille announced an imminent deal for Sanchez on Tuesday, saying in a statement: "Olympique de Marseille and Alexis Sanchez have agreed on the arrival of the player via an agreement in principle.

    "The Chile international with 143 caps who has won 17 trophies in his career will commit in the next few hours subject to the success of his medical examination."

    Sanchez will become the club's 12th signing of the transfer window, with several temporary deals from last season made permanent, as well as further additions including Jordan Veretout, Jonathan Clauss and a loan move for Nuno Tavares.

    The 33-year-old only managed five goals in 27 Serie A appearances for Inter last season, though just seven of those were starts.

    In all, Sanchez made 109 appearances for the Nerazzurri after arriving from United in 2019, scoring 20 goals.

  • Glasner stresses need for 'special' Frankfurt defence against Benzema-inspired Madrid Glasner stresses need for 'special' Frankfurt defence against Benzema-inspired Madrid

    Eintracht Frankfurt's defence must be "special" to deal with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema-inspired attack in the Super Cup, according to head coach Oliver Glasner.

    Europa League winners Frankfurt take on the Champions League victors in Helsinki on Wednesday.

    Yet Frankfurt come into the clash on the back of a 6-1 home hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich in their opening Bundesliga fixture on Saturday, while they are also without their creative hub in the form of Filip Kostic, who has been left out of the squad to seal a transfer for Juventus.

    While confident his team can come away with a surprise victory at the Olympic Stadium, Glasner acknowledged they must be far less open than they were against Bayern, who were 5-0 up by half-time.

    "If we have to play against Real, we need a special defence, especially [against] Benzema, who was the best scorer in the Champions League, really great in box, but it's important that the players who give him passes, whoever plays, that we prevent the players passing into the box because it will always be very difficult to defend Benzema," said Glasner in a news conference.

    "That's the idea, act in a compact manner, pressure Madrid so they don't have very much space.

    "We're feeling very good, looking very much forward [to the game]. Great compensation for the Europa League final, for the win, playing the Super Cup now, playing a Champions League winner that knocked out Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

    "Of course, the team that waits for us is high quality, we want to show our best football, give our best on the pitch... we're not really scared, we're looking forward to it.

    "We showed last year on the European stage there's always a chance, we took that chance."

    While Frankfurt, who defeated Barcelona en route to winning the Europa League, might be inexperienced when it comes to matches of this magnitude, they have signed a player who is very much accustomed to big occasions in the form of Mario Gotze. 

    Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Gotze, who scored Germany's winner in the 2014 World Cup final, joined Frankfurt from PSV, and Glasner is delighted with his impact so far.

    "We are glad that Mario joined us. He integrated really quickly, his technical qualities, his sense for finding solutions, he's very zealous, running a lot," Glasner said. 

    "He already played 50 or 60 Champions League matches, he has a lot of experience at this level, so for him it's not the newest thing to play against teams like Real Madrid."

    Another player who has played for one of Europe's biggest clubs is Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who insisted he will not do anything different to prepare for the game, despite going up against the likes of Benzema and Vinicius Junior.

    Trapp said: "There are butterflies in my stomach, but I am happy to play in this game tomorrow.

    "It's a huge possibility to show our strengths, but I don't prepare in a special way, everyone knows these players and their qualities, how strong they are.

    "My job is always the same, to help the team not concede any goals, that'll be my job, but we will face a lot of quality with Benzema and Vinicius, whoever it is."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.