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What if only goalkeepers could win the Ballon d’Or? These are the results from 2008 – 2017

Can you guess who would have won it five times in a row?

It’s the conclusion to our *thrilling* three-part series in which we are redistributing the Ballon d’Or.

We’ve already taken you through what would have happened if only defenders and midfielders were nominated.

But what if only goalkeepers were eligible to win the most prestigious individual award in football?

We have gone back and looked at the official voting results, so if you don’t agree, take it up with the world’s captains, coaches and journalists of the last ten years.

2008: IKER CASILLAS

Wait, No22, is that Ruben de la Red? Bloody hell…

AP:Associated Press
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Wait, No22, is that Ruben de la Red? Bloody hell…

Actual ranking: 4th

Next highest: Gianluigi Buffon

We start with an impressive showing from a Spain and Real Madrid legend.

Casillas was omnipresent between the sticks en route to a domestic league title and a European Championship triumph.

Fernando Torres was the only other player not named Lionel or Cristiano to receive more votes in 2008.

2009: IKER CASILLAS

Remember snoods?

News Group Newspapers Ltd
10
Remember snoods?

Actual ranking: =16th

Next highest: Julio Cesar

back-to-back wins for Casillas though a noticeably lower actual ranking.

2010: IKER CASILLAS

Great forehand… oh look, there’s Rafa Nadal as well

EPA
10
Great forehand… oh look, there’s Rafa Nadal as well

Actual ranking: 7th

Next highest: Julio Cesar

And there’s the hat-trick!

Barcelona may have reigned supreme over Real at the time but Spain’s historic World Cup victory allowed Casillas to become the first Spaniard to ever lift the trophy.

What a feeling that must have been.

A nod to Cesar whose inspirational form contributed to Inter Milan’s impressive treble.

2011: IKER CASILLAS

Sweet reading for Madridistas

Reuters
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Sweet reading for Madridistas

Actual ranking: 9th

Next highest: No other keepers nominated

Okay, this is almost tedious now.

As the only keeper nominated for the award in 2011, Casillas strolled home in a one-horse race.

2012: IKER CASILLAS

*stifles yawn*

AFP
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*stifles yawn*

Actual ranking: 6th

Next highest: Gianluigi Buffon

Not much more than can be said at this stage.

Casillas will forever be associated with Spain’s hat-trick of international trophies between 2008 – 2012.

There can be little doubt that he was thought of as the best keeper in the world for a considerable spell… by Ballon d’Or voters at least.

2013: MANUEL NEUER

Gold standard

Getty Images - Getty
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Gold standard

Actual ranking: 23rd

Next highest: No other keepers nominated

This is not a drill, repeat, this is not a drill!

Everyone’s favourite sweeper-keeper broke Casillas’ stranglehold in 2013 following Bayern Munich’s treble.

As with Casillas in 2011, he was the lone the keeper among the nominees, but a worthy winner nonetheless.

2014: MANUEL NEUER

THOUGHT BUBBLE: Thank you Gonzalo Higuain!

Getty - Contributor
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THOUGHT BUBBLE: Thank you Gonzalo Higuain!

Actual ranking: 3rd

Next highest: Thibaut Courtois

Now this is seriously impressive.

In an age when the top individual awards are dominated by goalscorers, a keeper made the podium of the Ballon d’Or.

Germany’s World Cup win boosted Neuer’s profile to its peak and as a result he rubbed shoulders with Messi and Ronaldo at one of football’s most reputable ceremonies.

2015: MANUEL NEUER

Hat-trick!

Bongarts - Getty
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Hat-trick!

Actual ranking: 7th

Next highest: No other keepers nominated

Dare we say, this is a Casillas-esque streak from the big German?

Again, no other keepers where nominated but his actual ranking put him above the likes of Eden Hazard, Andres Iniesta and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

2016: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Mr Popular

Rex Features
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Mr Popular

Actual ranking: =9th

Next highest: Rui Patricio

After a couple of silver medal finishes during Casillas’ reign of dominance, Ballon d’Or voters elected Buffon as the world’s best keeper in 2016.

Not bad for a 38-year-old…

Rui Patricio swoops ahead of Hugo Lloris to take the runner-up spot after his talismanic efforts at Euro 2016.

2017: GIANLUIGI BUFFON

A win for middle-aged men everywhere

Massimo Pinca
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A win for middle-aged men everywhere

Actual ranking: 4th

Next highest: David De Gea

There was more than a hint of sentimentality about Buffon’s actual ranking last year.

Charitable voters opted to recognise the Juventus legend’s sustained class over the course of his career as he finished behind only Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar.


If you haven’t read our revisionist Ballon d’Ors for defenders and midfielders, crack on now…