Thibaut Courtois has discussed his snub from FIFA, who didn’t name the Belgian as one of the five candidates for the best men’s goalkeeper of the year, as part of their The Best awards. Instead, Alisson Becker, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Édouard Mendy, Manuel Neuer and Kasper Schmeichel were the ones chosen.
Reflecting on that during his press conference appearance on Tuesday night, ahead of Wednesday’s Sheriff rematch, Courtois said: “For me, the team trophies are always more important. I’d rather win the Champions League and LaLiga this year over those individual trophies. What happened with The Best doesn’t surprise me too much, given what happened a month ago [when criticising FIFA’s calendar]. Maybe it’s because of some comments I made. I don’t know who decides these things. There are other great goalkeepers there.”
The goalkeeper went on to discuss the Wednesday night match and he reflected on the previous encounter, a 2-1 defeat, by saying: “There are no easy matches, even against clubs that might be considered smaller. We know it’ll be difficult, as they defend well and are dangerous on the counter. That’s what happened in the first match. We’ll need to play well to win and qualify for the next round.”
Courtois on Real Madrid’s defence
Discussing the performance of Real Madrid’s defence so far in 2021/22, Courtois explained that many of the goals they’re conceding are either unlucky ones or insignificant ones, saying: “We had a bit of bad luck in some matches, such as the other day against Granada. They only created some danger at the end of the match. I think we’re defending well as a team, but the goals we’re conceding tend to come at the end of matches we’re still winning. I’d obviously prefer to win 3-0 or 4-0, but if we’re still winning then I’m happy.”
Courtois on Eden Hazard
Asked about his teammate for club and country, Eden Hazard, Courtois said: “I’ve known Eden for many years and he always dreamed of playing at Real Madrid. So, it’s a shame things haven’t gone as he’d have wanted yet. I see him training with happiness. Having not played much, it’ll be tough to return to his best level, but I am convinced that he can do this and do a lot for the team.”