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Courtois ‘put respect on my name’ with Real heroics against Liverpool

Thibaut Courtois

Real Madrid’s Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois kisses the Champions League trophy during the medal ceremony after Madrid ‘s victory in the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on May 28, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois sounded like a heavyweight champ after his big-time performance lifted Real Madrid to a 1-0 win over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday in Paris.

[ RECAP: Three things we learned from Liverpool vs Real Madrid ]

“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 said. “I saw a lot of criticism even after a great season.”

It would be difficult to avoid giving credit to Courtois, who is the unabashed hero of this win (Vinicius’ goal obviously mattered quite a bit).

Madrid entered the game with swagger and exited it with the trophy despite Liverpool’s 24-4 advantage in shot attempts.

Courtois had said “when Madrid plays finals they win” before the game and he certainly turned out to be correct on this occasion.

“I am really proud of the team,” Courtois said. “We stuck to it and when I needed to be there I was there for the team. We beat some of the best clubs in the world. City and Liverpool were unbelievable this season. They fought to the end in the Premier League, Liverpool won two cups and they were really strong.”

The 2018 World Cup Golden Glove and Dream Team member certainly has plenty of respect on his name, but he doesn’t get the love of players like Alisson Becker or Gianluigi Donnarumma.

He outshone one of them on Saturday, though it must be said that Alisson wasn’t asked to do what Courtois was (though the Brazilian did not stop Vinicius... although that would’ve bailed out Trent Alexander-Arnold in a big way).

A Champions League runner-up with Real Madrid, Courtois has won La Liga thrice between the two big Madrid clubs and also has two Premier League clubs. He can consider his legacy cemented with Saturday’s performance.

Follow @NicholasMendola