Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been named the Best Goalkeeper of the Year by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) for the fifth consecutive season, beating off the likes of Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Chelsea’s Petr Cech.
The award, decided by journalists from all over the world, was handed to Casillas after he accumulated 224 votes, with Juventus shotstopper Gianluigi Buffon coming in second with 128 votes.
Chelsea’s Petr Cech came home in third in the vote, accumulating 92 votes thanks to his heroics in helping the Stamford Bridge club claim the Champions League trophy in May. The man in the opposite goal during Chelsea's dramatic win in Munich, Manuel Neuer, claimed 4th.
Cech finished ahead of his rival at Manchester City, Joe Hart, who claimed 26 votes, which was enough to put him ahead of Barcelona’s Victor Valdes in 6th. Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was joint-eighth alongside Samir Handanović but behind Cássio Romos of Corinthians in 7th.
Casillas was central to helping Real Madrid win La Liga for the first time in four seasons ahead of rivals Barcelona last time round, while the 31-year-old was also a key part of Spain’s Euro 2012 winning squad.
His form this year had prompted some to push him forward for a place in the final three man Ballon d’Or shortlist, although since then he has found himself at the centre of a storm after Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho dropped him for the recent 3-2 defeat against Malaga.
That result leaves Los Blancos 16 points adrift of Barcelona in the title race, although Casillas is expected to be restored to Madrid’s starting line up when the action in Spain gets back under way after the winter break.