A Real Madrid star is finally getting his due as the best in the world


We talk about Karim Benzema, Vinicius Jr, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric every other day and just think about how good they have been for Real Madrid. Sometimes, fans from other teams also react like that, and appreciate the players for what they are. But sometimes, they just undermine them, and think that just because they don’t watch them regularly, those players aren’t good enough to be mentioned in the conversations of the best in the world in their respective positions.

Personally, I don’t really enjoy it, but it’s fine. I am used to seeing people underrate a lot of Real Madrid’s players.

That’s the only reason why Toni Kroos didn’t make it into the top 30 of the Ballon d’Or this year, even though he was arguably one of the best players out there. Same reason why to this date, people call Luka Modric’s 2018 Ballon d’Or win undeserved, while in reality, he was simply better than everyone else. Greater than everyone else.

I’m used to all of that, but today I’m talking about Thibaut Courtois. With Courtois, it’s a bit tricky. People used to rate him highly when he was at Chelsea, and especially during his splendid 2018 World Cup campaign. But, the season after that – Thibaut’s first at Real Madrid – was not great. Obviously, people criticised him a lot more than I thought they would, because, at the end of the day, it was just one bad season.

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Courtois was back to his best, arguably better than he ever was prior to that, in the 2019-20 season as he picked up the Zamora trophy for keeping the most number of clean sheets in La Liga.

Thibaut Courtois is slowly receiving his fair share of praise from journalists and fans

But, ever since that 2018-19 season, I haven’t really seen people talk about Courtois’ being one of, if not the best goalkeeper in the world, while in reality, he has been that guy for a long time! He had another really, really good campaign in 2020-21 season, where he just missed out on his second Zamora trophy in two years.

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This season, however, Courtois has been exceptional, especially considering the fact that Real Madrid lost two huge assets in the defensive department this season – Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane – along with Zinedine Zidane, the mastermind behind it all. Of course, Eder Militao and David Alaba have built an incredible partnership and are playing really, really well, But even then, Courtois has had a lot more to do this season, and yet he’s managed to do everything right. And we’re seeing so many of those right things that people are finally starting to take notice.

I came across an article by Dermot Corrigan and Matt Pyzdrowski of The Athletic about Courtois being the best in the world in his position, and honestly, it was a fantastic read and I couldn’t agree more. Courtois simply has been better than every other goalkeeper in the world this season, and that is a fact. While I am of the opinion that the Belgian has been like that since 2019, it just makes me happy that finally, people are starting to laud the Belgian.

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Here’s another article from Sid Lowe of ESPN about Courtois’ performances this season. He’s talking about how Courtois is undervalued, underrated, and someone who saves Real Madrid time after time and still gets snubbed from all the award shortlists. It’s another amazing read, and a further deep dive into how his performances are top notch but hardly anyone’s taking notice.

But I hope, sincerely hope that this is a sign of change for the future. People have been harshly and unfairly criticizing Courtois for far too long and it’s time he gets his flowers and then some. Courtois himself is not afraid to say it either; he knows he’s the best, and essentially, that’s all that matters, but it would be nice if others started giving credit where it is due, and I’m glad to see it finally happening.


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