Thibaut Courtois could not have been any more direct with his distaste for how the world valued him after the Champions League final. Having been left out of a list of the top 10 goalkeepers in the world, Courtois demanded the respect of the world just moments after his match-winning performance had sealed victory.
His frustration is not just limited to himself though. On the whole Courtois feels that people do not take into account that goalkeepers are at least as crucial as other positions on the pitch.
“Last year, if we won the Champions League, it wasn’t just thanks to Vinicius, Valverde, Benzema or Rodrygo. It was also thanks to Courtois.”
“The modern goalkeeper is no longer there just to save goals. Here in Madrid I also have to start the plays, it is I who with the first pass will decide 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.”
He made those comments to L’Equipe in an interview that was carried by Marca.
Courtois did pick up the Lev Yashin trophy for the best ‘keeper, but also felt hard-done by that he only placed seventh in the overall Ballon d’Or rankings on Monday.
“Without a good goalkeeper you don’t win a trophy. And at football awards, sometimes we forget. People vote faster for a forward who scores goals than for a goalkeeper. It’s a shame. But we will continue to show that goalkeepers are really important.”
“It is often only written in the headlines (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 may also have missed five or six easy scoring chances.”
Courtois probably has a point, but whether others will take note of his words is another matter. The chances of a goalkeeper winning the Ballon d’Or one day still seem highly unlikely.