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Thibaut Courtois credits himself as one of the reasons behind Real Madrid’s UCL win



Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Speaking candidly in an interview with L’Equipe (h/t MARCA), Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois has underlined the importance of goalkeepers in the modern game, while also underlining his role in the club’s La Liga and UEFA Champions League triumphs last term.

Courtois enjoyed a stunning campaign in 2021/22 and had a major hand in the club’s success. His exploits were recognised earlier this week when he won the Yashin Trophy at the Ballon d’Or ceremony.

However, he was ranked seventh in the Ballon d’Or rankings, something that did not sit well with the former Chelsea goalkeeper.

Now, he has once again expressed his displeasure at the lack of credit given to goalkeepers, saying: “When we won the Champions League last year, it wasn’t just thanks to Vinicius, Valverde, Benzema or Rodrygo. It was also thanks to Courtois.”

Talking about the demands made of a modern-day goalkeeper, the Real Madrid ace added: “The modern goalkeeper no longer only saves goals. Here in Madrid I also have to start the plays, it is I who, with the first pass, decides how we are going to mount the attack or how we are going to get out of the rival’s pressure.”

“Today you are almost a playmaker, goalkeepers are much more important than you think.”

“Without a good goalkeeper, you don’t win a trophy. In football awards, sometimes we forget that. People vote faster for a striker who scores goals than a goalkeeper. Too bad. But we will continue to show that goalkeepers are really important,” he further added.

The 29-year-old also stated how the media is quick to highlight the mistakes made by a goalkeeper, saying: “It is often written in big letters (in the newspapers) when it is a goalkeeper who makes a mistake. 

“As soon as he makes a small mistake, they kill him and say the game was lost because of him. Sometimes we forget that the striker before He may also have missed five or six easy scoring chances.”

The Belgian international also opened up on the early phases of his career and how he decided to become a goalkeeper.

“I used to play volleyball a lot. When I was 7 or 8 years old, I was a left-back at Genk. One day, we played an indoor tournament in Germany. The coach was looking for a goalkeeper and I offered to play every game,” Courtois said.

“I was voted best goalkeeper. The following year I was still doing both. When I was 11, I didn’t want to be a goalkeeper anymore. When you’re young, you dream of scoring.”

The Belgian also spoke about how two former Chelsea managers in Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink helped him improve his footwork, saying:

“In 2015, when I injured my knee, Mourinho and Hiddink made me have a lot of possession as a free man, and that allowed me to read the game better, make better passes, play faster.”

“I’m happy when I have the ball at my feet and I can pass well. To be told that the goal started with you and with your good first pass, I like that,” he added.

On how he communicates with the defenders in front of him, Courtois said: “Sometimes I have to defend goalkeepers in front of my teammates who usually say: ‘It’s the goalkeeper’s fault’. I talk a lot with them.

“But you have to know how to do it If you talk a lot, your defenders will tell you: ‘Stop talking, it’s too much’. The most important thing is to speak at the right time and give the key words because there is a lot of noise in the stadiums.”

Finally, Courtois expressed his desire to score a goal in competitive football, as he said: “I really want to score. A few years ago, I hit a header against Valencia, the goalkeeper saved it and Karim scored. Sometimes I think that with my two meters I could score. But later, if there is a counterattack…”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid veteran has ‘adopted’ Arda Guler, is mentoring him in training



Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images

The current edition of the Real Madrid squad is full of young talents, who have shown remarkable potential in recent years.

Arda Guler is among the young players looking to make a mark in European football in the years to come.

The young Turk joined Real Madrid earlier this summer, rejecting many other European giants in the process.

Toni Kroos mentoring Guler at Real Madrid

Guler has not enjoyed the best of starts to his life at Santiago Bernabeu, as he is spending a brief time on the sidelines due to an injury.

However, Guler has not stopped working on his characteristics, as he looks to kickstart his Real Madrid career on a positive note.

To that end, the former Fenerbahce starlet is receiving some key support from one of Real Madrid’s midfield pillars in the form of Toni Kroos.

This is according to MARCA, which suggests that the German international is mentoring Guler in his early days at Santiago Bernabeu.

Arda Guler is taking special guidance from Toni Kroos (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Kroos: huge ‘sponsor’ of Guler

The report highlights how Toni Kroos is a huge admirer of Arda Guler. The German had even heaped praise on the youngster from Turkey when he joined the club earlier in the summer.

Guler, therefore, is closely training with Kroos, whose years of experience, composure, and knowledge of football, could help the youngster grow at Santiago Bernabeu.

This fits in well with Carlo Ancelotti’s vision at Real Madrid, as the Italian boss wants youngsters to have room to grow, especially with guidance from some of the older guards in the team.

It is one of the key reasons Real Madrid wanted to stick to Kroos and Luka Modric, despite bringing in Arda Guler and Jude Bellingham in the summer.

Guler, therefore, has the stage set for him to start his Real Madrid career on a strong note. After impressing in training, the next step for the youngster is to make a promising debut, which is just around the corner.

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