Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has admitted he is not surprised by his omission from the 2021 Best FIFA Football Award shortlists, which were released this week.
Fans might have expected Courtois to be among the nominees for the Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper prize, which he previously won in 2018 and was on the shortlist for in 2020.
But Courtois insists he isn’t bothered by the snub and suggested it could even have been motivated after he was critical of the international football calendar last month.
The Belgian blasted UEFA following the Nations League finals third place playoff against Italy, claiming the game’s only purpose was ‘extra money’ for Europe’s governing body.
"In the end the collective trophies are more important than the individual awards, I prefer to win the Champions League and the League than those awards,” Courtois said this week, via Marca.
“The Best thing does not surprise me so much perhaps because of what happened a month ago, because of some comments from me...I don't know.
“I know what I do to help the club and that's the most important thing. I'm not going to comment more on that, I don't have to go in any more, I don't know who decides, there are great goalkeepers who are there...and in the end may the best man win it.”
Courtois has only kept five clean sheets in 17 appearances for Real in all competition so far this season. But Los Blancos still lead La Liga ahead of Real Sociedad and Sevilla, largely thanks to a prolific attack that has averaged 2.5 goals per game, and totals nine more than the next best.