Manchester City named Club of the Year at Ballon d’Or ceremony

Midfielder De Bruyne reaches final three for men's award while goalkeeper Ederson reaches podium in Yashin Trophy on stellar night for Premier League champions

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Manchester City have been named Club of the Year at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris.

On a stellar night for the Abu Dhabi-owned Premier League champions, two of their star names were also added to the glittering roll of honour.

Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne became the first player in City’s history to be shortlisted in the final three of the men’s individual award.

Meanwhile, serial Golden Glove winner Ederson also reached the podium for the Yashin Trophy which is confined to goalkeepers.

City chief executive Ferran Soriano, who was in Paris with Director of Football Txiki Begiristain to collect the team prize, declared it a proud day for his club.

“To be named Club of the Year is an honour and further underlines the strength of this club across both men’s and women’s football,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on playing beautiful football and winning matches. We are proud of the quality of the players and all the staff behind the scenes who help make us successful.

“This award is recognition of the hard work and dedication found in every department of our organisation. We will continue to strive for success but today I want everyone connected to Manchester City Football Club to take a step back and feel proud of all we achieved last season.”

De Bruyne, meanwhile, believes his place in the men’s top three is recognition for his performances over a number of years for both City and Belgium.

“I have been nominated quite a few times now, so it means you have been doing well consistently,” he said.

Kevin De Bruyne scores for Manchester City against Bournemouth in the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium in August 2022. Getty

“To be recognised as a player is always nice. If you are in that list, then it means a lot and after that it is people’s opinion. As a player, I think you understand what you do good and what you do bad.”

“The aim is to be the best possible player for my club, country and myself. You are only as good as your last game. I have been playing for a long time so I understand how it works.”

The 31-year-old, who has played more than 300 times for City, has four Premier League titles in the trophy cabinet and is looking to add more silverware this term.

He will also spearhead his country’s bid for World Cup glory in Qatar. He admits it doesn’t leave much time to think about individual honours.

“As a player I think you can reflect on what you did in your career. It is not something I look at right now,” he added.

“But when you finish your career, you can see what you have done as a player in your career for your club, for your country and individually. There is only one player every year that can win the Ballon d’Or out of millions and millions of people, so to be in that list of top 30 for a long time now, it is something I already appreciate.

“I think the best players are their own critics. The real top, top players push themselves to the limit.”

Brazil international Ederson, winner of the Premier League’s Golden Glove award for most clean sheets on three occasions, admits that as a kid on the streets of his homeland he had no perception of the Ballon d’Or though that all changed as his countrymen and idols began to win in it.

He also believes it is harder for a keeper to win the overall award and so is delighted they now have the Yashin Trophy - named after the great Russian goalkeeper.

Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson moved to Manchester City from Benfica in 2017. AP

“I am proud to be recognised in the Yashin Trophy as part of the Ballon d’Or ceremony," said Ederson.

“When I was a kid, I didn't have the notion of what it was – a Ballon d'Or – because during those times, we used to play a lot in the streets and have fun. As time went by, I was gaining more knowledge. Rivaldo won, Ronaldo won, Kaka won. So that was when I knew the size and the importance of the Ballon d'Or.

“It’s an honour to be shortlisted this year in the award for goalkeepers because the competition for both the team and individual honours is always so strong. There are a lot of exceptional players.

“It's very difficult to win it [Ballon d’Or] in a football world with so many great players. Of course, it's more difficult to win it for a goalkeeper.

“Usually the joy of the fans is when a goal is scored, and our job is to avoid that from happening! For us goalkeepers, it is more difficult to be on the shortlist, especially when you are talking about players that have scored 30 or 40 goals in a season.

“Winning the Ballon d'Or for a goalkeeper is a very difficult achievement. But it's not impossible and I'm sure we will see goalkeepers winning it in the future.

“First and foremost, collective achievements are more important to me, and then individual awards. But winning trophies as a team helps you massively into these types of awards. I'm focused on my team, Manchester City and achieving collective success, and winning the Yashin Trophy in the future would be a consequence.”

Updated: October 20, 2022, 4:05 PM
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