Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois believes he is now among the top five goalkeepers in the world.
The 21-year-old Belgian international has been a revelation since moving to the Spanish capital on loan from Chelsea in summer 2011, and has further enhanced his reputation with some superb performances in his country’s World Cup qualification campaign.
Courtois, one of the leaders of Belgium’s new golden generation of footballers, has conceded just three goals from nine games in the group stages, with six clean sheets, and told reporters he is in the form of his life.
“I am in my best-ever form and feel that I am among the top five goalkeepers in the world,” he declared.
It is a phrase few would argue with, given Courtois picked up the coveted Zamora award in La Liga last term, and he acknowledged how important his time in Spain has been for his development.
“I’ve grown a lot at Atleti, especially last year when we won the European Super Cup and the Copa del Rey, and have made great progress, particularly in terms of speed, reflexes and experience.”
However, he did not want to speculate too much on his future following reports he may have to return to parent club Chelsea.
“I want to play. I don’t want to be sitting on the bench. At Atletico I feel really good and they have allowed me to play in the Champions League.
“We won’t know anything new until around March,” he added.