Thibaut Courtois: ‘I’ve won a lot of silverware but nothing compares with winning the Champions League with Real’

Sun, May 29 2022
Thibaut Courtois with the Champions League trophy, winners medal and man-of-the-match award

Thibaut Courtois with the Champions League trophy, winners medal and man-of-the-match award Credit: Alexander Hassenstein/UEFA/Getty Images

Macdara Ferris reports from the Stade de France

As Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was speaking the media in the post-match press conference after his team’s Champions League final win, his goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois joined him at the top table.

As he placed his man-of-the-match trophy in front of him, Ancelotti acknowledged his ‘keeper outlining that “I said to Thibaut that I’d get you to the final and you would win the final for us.”

Courtois mightn’t have got the winning goal in the match – that honour fell to Vinicius Junior – but without Courtois’ efforts in goal, it would have been Liverpool lifting the European Cup at the end of the delayed final in Paris rather than a Real win.

For Ancelotti, it was his fourth time winning the Champions League as a manager but for the Belgian goalkeeper this was a big result – his first European Cup crown as a player.

“This victory means a lot for all us and me personally. It has been eight years since I was in this final and I lost that one,” said Courtois who was defeated in the 2014 final in Lisbon by Real Madrid when he lined out for cross-city rivals Atletico.

“It is one of the best days of my career. I’ve won a lot of silverware but nothing compares with winning the Champions League with Real. I am feeling one of the best things in my life. 

“It is on par with my kids being born. I ran to my family at the final whistle as they understand the sacrifice I have made.”

The 30-year-old ‘keeper made a suite of superb saves in the game as his team faced a Liverpool onslaught – the Reds had 23 shots and Courtois pulled off nine saves. 

“The most important save was from Mane that I pushed onto the post,” said the goalkeeper when asked to pick one out. “I used my 2m height and turned fast to get the rebound.”

The player felt despite his successful time with Chelsea, he isn’t valued as a top goalkeeper in England. “I won two Premier League’s but I didn’t get recognised for that. Now here I am as a winner.

“At the start of the season nobody thought we win the league or reach the semi-final of Champions League but that is down to the daily hard work under this coach. The best players are at Real Madrid, we have shown that again.”

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