If Real Madrid‘s Champions League final win in 2018 was remembered for a nightmare display by Loris Karius in the Liverpool goal, RealMadrid’s triumph over similar opponents in Paris on Saturday was in no small part down to the heroics of Thibaut Courtois. The Champions League final started late, thanks to some shocking scenes outside Stade de Franc. Still, the Champions League final ended with LaLiga champions Real Madrid walking away with the award, beating Liverpool 1-0 in Paris thanks to ViniciusJunior’ss second-half strike.
Overall, the Champions League final was just the ninth meeting between Liverpool and LaLiga champions Real Madrid in Champions League play, with the Spanish side having the slight edge when it comes to the previous engagements between both sides (W4, L3, D1), scoring ten goals during this period, Liverpool’s eight. Based on this performance, it is unlikely Kylian Mbappe will have turned Madrid into a superior side, given Liverpool’s impressive dominance of almost everything except finishing — ultimately, they did not even need the input of Karim Benzema.
Liverpool created a lot, nearly doubling their efforts in terms of efforts on goal, but found Thibaut Courtois in inspired form, with the Belgian international again showing his worth to Real Madrid in earning his first Champions League crown. Thibaut Courtois was Chelsea’s regular long-term starter before returning to Spain to join Madrid’s side in 2018. Shortly after winning the Champions League over Liverpool in Kyiv, they were helped by a brace from Loris Karius. Thibaut Courtois was customary for Chelsea for four years before returning to Spain to join Actual Madrid in 2018. Shortly after they had won the Champions League against Liverpool in Kyiv, they were helped by two gifts from Karius.
Thibaut Courtois confirmed the importance of getting a first-class keeper, making a series of crucial saves to deny aspects of Loris Karius and helping Real seal the 1-0 victory, which allowed them to lift their 14th European Cup. Thibaut Courtois was credited with nine saves overall, a great firm hand to showcase behind a Mohamed Salah shot late on, and, most importantly, a quality stoppage showing a Sadio Mane shot onto the post while Liverpool was in possession. Thibaut Courtois continued his excellent evening’s work, flying wide right to smother the ensuing effort, curled the effort from Mo Salah into safety, and denied Liverpool’s attackers a ninth time as he swung an instinctive deflection off Diogo Jotas’s header towards goal.
A goalkeeper hasn’t won the Ballon d’Or since Lev Yashin in 1963, and that streak looks poised to remain after Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games in 2021-22 to stand as the clear favourite. However, Courtois outperformed the Frenchman on Saturday, and the enormous Belgian has stated that gaining the respect of his colleagues is more crucial to him than collecting the Ballon d’Or.