Thibaut Courtois has not done the unthinkable. Thibaut Courtois didn’t need to prove his worth. Real Madrid fans know his importance, but something bothered Courtois. He was eager to prove his mettle and that he is indeed the best.
He chose his battle — the Champions League final against Liverpool to show his greatness. And he did it with nine magnanimous saves that saved Real Madrid against a wave of Liverpool attacks and gave them their 14th UCL title. Courtois was delighted that he has achieved the European glory that even eluded the greatest goalkeeper of all time, Gianluigi Buffon.
He was over the moon. He was ecstatic to address the media after his match-winning performance. And in that press conference, the world got to know the reason for Courtois’s desire to prove his worth.
“There was a magazine in March that didn’t put me in the best 10 goalkeepers. I don’t know. That, I think, is a lack of respect. I don’t say they have to put me No. 1, really, I don’t mind. Alisson is a great goalkeeper, Mendy is a great goalkeeper, Oblak, Ederson. There are really a lot of great goalkeepers. I don’t say you have to put me No. 1.”
Courtois was fired up in the conference making his case and the treatment he has received from the fans and media alike. The Belgian was quick to address his disappointment for all the flak he had been receiving from England, especially after winning the Premier League and Europa League with Chelsea.
“I guess it is to do with how I left Chelsea but I won twice the Premier League in England. I don’t think I ever really get recognized for it, especially after my first year with Madrid. A lot of people laughed at me but here I am as a winner so it is a nice comeback.”
Courtois was a man on a mission who didn’t want to be brought down at any costs. But anyone could see him and tell he had been hurt for not being included in the best goalkeepers around, not praised for his time in England and even at Real Madrid, where he thought he had been ignored at times.
That’s why the Champions League was essential. “Today I needed to win a final for my career, for all the hard work to put respect on my name as I don’t think I get enough respect, especially in England.”
Courtois is now a certified legend for Los Blancos. Even though Vinicius Junior put the ball in the back of the net and etched his name in the record books, it was Courtois’s fire to prove everyone wrong that handed Real Madrid another trophy.
No one will now ever doubt to put respect on Courtois’s name.
“Buffon is maybe the greatest goalkeeper in history but he never won the Champions League. I didn’t want that to happen to me.” This statement just might be a teaser of Courtois’ greatness that transpired last night in Paris.