Thibaut Courtois played a key role in getting Real Madrid to the Champions League final on Wednesday night after pulling off a magnificent save against Jack Grealish.
We are still trying to work out just how Man City failed to secure their spot in the final against Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola’s team were so dominant over the two legs and should have put the tie to bed on numerous occasions, but they simply couldn’t kill it off.
And that was in no small part down to former Chelsea stopper Courtois.
An impressive Courtois performance
The Belgium international pulled off a host of stunning saves in the Spanish capital which kept the deficit down to just one goal in the game.
The highlight of which occurred after Grealish sold two Madrid defenders before firing a shot across goal which looked destined for the corner, only for the impressive Courtois to get enough of an outstretched stud on it to send the ball millimetres wide of the post.
If that wasn’t enough, he then instigated the Madrid attack in the build-up to the winning goal, sending an exceptional ball out towards Eduardo Camavinga, who subsequently carried it towards the City box and played in Benzema who was fouled for the spot-kick.
Something which had CBS pundit Thierry Henry purring over the skill level on show:
“Courtois, that pass! That pass with his right foot!”, Henry told CBS Sports after the game.
“Then Camavinga, nobody could catch him. But that pass off Courtois at that moment in the game, keeping that composure.
“I maintain it, Courtois is better than Ederson. People are going to say I am bias [because of Belgium].
“We’re not talking about [distribution], but overall, as a keeper for me, he’s better and that pass was outstanding.”
It just goes to show what a key role goalkeepers can play in a teams’ successes.
Although, behind every great moment in a sportsman’s life, there will be hours, years even, of hard work and practice.
It seems that Courtois wanted to remind everyone of exactly that, as the Belgian shared a fascinating video on his Twitter that shows him performing strikingly similar saves to that which he pulled off against Grealish in the build-up to the fixture.
Practice really does make perfect.