Football

Thibaut Courtois claims he silenced his critics against Queens Park Rangers

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois believes he silenced his critics during Sunday's 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

The 22-year-old produced a string of important saves to help the Blues move a significant step closer to securing their first Premier League title since 2010.

Courtois has come under fire in recent weeks following high-profile mistakes against Hull City and Stoke City, but the world-class Belgium international insists he has never doubted his own ability and feels his impressive mental strength has allowed him to emerge from this sticky spell unscathed.

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Courtois: I never doubted myself

“I never doubted that I can catch the ball," Courtois was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. “Against Hull, I just tried to make the best solution. It was not the best control, but in the second half of that match I showed that I am mentally strong and I saved the team.

“Against Stoke, if you want to play high as a team, you as a goalkeeper have to play high as well. Charlie Adam did a good strike and that can happen.

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“But I showed against QPR that if you play high, you can go get the ball from the midfield. If I’m on the 18-yard box, I can go get it there. For me it’s not a problem. I continue.

“I never doubt myself — that’s my strength. I helped the team with two good saves here and I’m happy.

“The most important thing is the team and against Hull and Stoke we still won. I’m 22 and still learning. These were moments which I could learn from.”

Mourinho was right to drop Cech for Courtois

Despite his recent struggles in between the sticks, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has kept faith in the goalkeeper he decided should replace Petr Cech at the start of the season.

Courtois has only been dropped on one occasion this season - against Everton in February after nervous display against Manchester City and Aston Villa - and has performed exceptionally well overall this season, both in the Premier League and the Champions League.

David de Gea is likely to be named as the Premier League Goalkeeper of the Year at the PFA Awards in two weeks' time, but Courtois is expected to receive the second-highest amount of votes from his peers.

Courtois is the world's best goalkeeper

There's an argument to suggest Courtois was the best goalkeeper on the planet over the course of 2014, despite the fact Manuel Neuer lifted the World Cup with Germany in Brazil last summer and was nominated for the 2014 Ballon d'Or award.

Without Courtois, Atletico Madrid would not have won their first La Liga title since 1996 or reached the Champions League final in Lisbon, where they agonisingly lost out to local rivals Real Madrid.

Courtois then went on to enjoy a fantastic first half of the season with Chelsea, whose manager Mourinho was justified with his decision to demote Cech to the subs bench in favour of the brilliant Belgian.

Is Thibaut Courtois the best goalkeeper in the world? Tell us whether you agree or disagree in the comments below!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Thibaut Courtois
Queens Park Rangers
Chelsea

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