Tuesday, 28 May 2024

The Yashin Trophy: Honoring the Best Goalkeepers in the World

Spain’s 1-0 victory over England in the final of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand sent the iconic trophy to a European nation for the first time since Germany’s win in 2007. However, Europe’s top women’s players have not been left without silverware in recent years. Besides their domestic campaigns and adventures in the Champions League, there are several individual awards available to players operating at the highest level of the game.

What is the Yashin Trophy?

One of the most famous individual awards in football is the Ballon d’Or. However, there are other trophies that players can win if they consistently perform to an outstanding level. One of these trophies is the Yashin Trophy, which is exclusively awarded to goalkeepers.

Lev Yashin: The Legend Behind the Trophy

The Yashin Trophy is named after Lev Yashin, an iconic Russian goalkeeper considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper of all time. Lev Yashin is the only goalkeeper in history to have won the Ballon d’Or. He was a shot-stopping machine and a monumental figure within Soviet football throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Famous Ballon d’Or Winners

Apart from Lev Yashin, only a small handful of defenders have won the Ballon d’Or, which has largely been dominated by attacking players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, in the 1990s and early 2000s, players like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Luis Figo, and Zinedine Zidane also picked up the award.

Yashin Trophy: Winners List

Since its inception in 2019, the Yashin Trophy has recognized the best goalkeepers in the world. Here is a list of the winners so far:

  • 2019: Alisson (Brazil and Liverpool)
  • 2020: Not awarded due to the Covid-19 pandemic
  • 2021: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy and Paris Saint Germain)
  • 2022: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium and Real Madrid)

The first-ever Yashin Trophy was won by Alisson after his remarkable season with Liverpool in which he conceded only 22 goals and lost only one game. Gianluigi Donnarumma and Thibaut Courtois followed as subsequent winners.

How is the Yashin Trophy Winner Decided?

The winner of the Yashin Trophy is determined by a voting system involving expert journalists from each of FIFA’s affiliated nations, similar to the process for deciding the Ballon d’Or winner. Each jury member selects three goalkeepers from a shortlist and awards them points. The goalkeeper with the most points wins the Yashin Trophy.

The Kopa Trophy: Honoring the Best Young Players

Another prestigious award affiliated with the Ballon d’Or is the Kopa Trophy, which recognizes the best young player in the world. This award is given to the best player under 21 years of age. The winner is decided by previous winners of the Ballon d’Or.

Future Winners of the Yashin Trophy?

The next winner of the Yashin Trophy will be announced at the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony. Contenders for the prize include Ederson, Alisson, Thibaut Courtois, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Emiliano Martinez. The final outcome will depend on their performances in the upcoming season.

To learn more about the most prestigious individual trophies in football, check out our guide to The Golden Boot vs The Golden Ball.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who is Lev Yashin?
    Lev Yashin is an iconic Russian goalkeeper considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper of all time. He is the only goalkeeper in history to win the Ballon d’Or.

  • Who has won the Yashin Trophy so far?
    The winners of the Yashin Trophy are Alisson (2019), Gianluigi Donnarumma (2021), and Thibaut Courtois (2022).

  • How is the Yashin Trophy winner decided?
    The winner of the Yashin Trophy is determined by a voting system involving expert journalists from each of FIFA’s affiliated nations. Each jury member selects three goalkeepers from a shortlist and awards them points. The goalkeeper with the most points wins the Yashin Trophy.

Conclusion

The Yashin Trophy shines a spotlight on the world’s best goalkeepers, ensuring their exceptional contributions to the game are recognized. As the prestigious award continues to be bestowed upon deserving winners year after year, the anticipation for the next recipient reaches new heights. Stay tuned for the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony to find out who will claim the crown of the world’s top goalkeeper.