Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has praised Thibaut Courtois after playing a key role in Real Madrid’s Champions League success.
He believes that the trend of no goalkeeper having ever won the Ballon d’Or could now change.
“What I love in his case is the recognition of the Real Madrid fans,” Martinez told TribalFootball.
“It’s never easy for a foreign player to be so adored at Madrid, especially at a club with a long tradition of local goalkeepers like Casillas or Buyo.”
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Courtois’ performance in the final against Liverpool was statistically the greatest seen in Champions League history.
In 2018, Real Madrid signed Courtois for £35 million, becoming La Liga‘s most expensive goalkeeper, surpassing the record set by Jan Oblak. He won a second La Liga title and a third Zamora trophy in 2020. In 2022, he won a third La Liga title and first UEFA Champions League title.
Courtois made his senior international debut in October 2011, becoming the youngest goalkeeper to represent Belgium. He has since earned over ninety caps and appeared at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2016, the 2018 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2020; he was awarded the Golden Glove in 2018 as the best goalkeeper of the tournament, with Belgium finishing third.
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