Thibaut Courtois was at his brilliant best in the Champions League final (Pictures: Getty)
Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand were blown away by Thibaut Courtois’ performance as Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the Champions League final.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois was at his brilliant best for the Spanish champions on Saturday night, making a number of superb saves to help Real Madrid triumph in Paris and win their 14th Champions League.
Courtois denied Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane before half-time and produced a stunning save to keep out Salah in the second half after Vinicius Junior put Real Madrid ahead.
Largely thanks to Courtois, Vinicius’ second-half goal proved decisive as Liverpool were denied a seventh Champions League title and a third trophy of the season.
Speaking after Real Madrid’s narrow win, Anfield legend Gerrard and Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand both singled out Courtois for praise on BT Sport.
Ferdinand said: ‘With a couple of the saves, it was almost as if you had to look at each other in disbelief and go, “wow, how has he done that?”
‘He looked like a man possessed in that goal. Mo Salah couldn’t do any more, it’s just fantastic goalkeeping from Courtois. He was phenomenal tonight.’
“This was an inspired performance from the very start of the game.” @rioferdy5, @themichaelowen and Steven Gerrard are in awe of
Thibaut Courtois’ display tonight! â›”ï¸#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/ZGG1F91qCp
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2022
Ex-Liverpool captain Gerrard added: ‘He totally deserved the Man of the Match award. He’s faced nine shots today and the second one from Sadio Mane is world-class, the last one from Salah is even better.
‘To get that strong an arm on it and push it wide was phenomenal. The Salah save… wow.’
Former England striker Michael Owen was also full of praise for Courtois after Real Madrid’s victory.
He said: ‘Two saves spring to mind for me. There was one he flicks onto the post from Mane and another one from Mo Salah.
‘The first one is an unbelievable save. He walked past us just now and the size of the man… he’s huge and when he can get down that quick as well… you’re one of the world’s best.’
Astonishing. Awesome. Courtois ðŸ†#UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/6XD4XzPnM6
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 28, 2022
Courtois, meanwhile, said he was delighted to prove his perceived critics wrong after producing an all-time great performance on the biggest stage of them all.
‘Yesterday in the press conference I said that when Madrid plays finals they win. I was on the good side of history,’ the shot-stopper said.
‘I saw a lot of tweets coming my way that I would get humbled today it was the other way round.
‘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. I saw a lot of criticism even after a great season.
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‘I am really proud of the team. We stuck to it and when I needed to be there I was there for the team. We beat some the best clubs of the world.
‘Manchester 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.
‘We played a great game today. We had one chance and scored it.’
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