Thibaut Courtois immortalized himself into the goalkeeper hall of fame with one of the greatest ever performances during Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory against Liverpool in the 2022 UEFA Champions League final.
Courtois was a one-man wall who wouldn’t have been scored on if the game lasted another 90 minutes. Liverpool in all its attacking glory was snuffed out by a 6 feet 7 inches tall Belgian with spaghetti for arms and legs.
Real Madrid had no business winning Saturday’s game. Liverpool outshot Los Blancos with 24 shots compared to Madrid’s four. Six times as many shots with nine on target.
This is legitimately one of the best goalkeeping performances since Tim Howard vs. Belgium in the 2014 World Cup. Courtois was in net for Belgium during that game eight years ago. Saturday, he made his own record as the first goalkeeper in history with nine saves in a Champions League final.
Courtois Saves vs. Liverpool
The first sign that Courtois was going to play out of his mind came in the 16th minute when he denied Mohamed Salah from close range.
Thibaut Courtois denies Mo Salah. pic.twitter.com/jZAFpoK1tb
The Belgian then came up with an even better save four minutes later denying Sadio Mané’s shot that then hit off the post.
Thibaut Courtois coming up huge again! pic.twitter.com/wk0RXP5gIP
Fast-forward to the second half where once again Salah was denied from close range. This time it was one of those dangling 23-foot-long legs of Courtois denying the Egyptian.
Thibaut Courtois is putting in a SHIFT! pic.twitter.com/VXu5b3AQo9
Salah will be seeing Courtois in his nightmares as Liverpool’s final chance of the game came in the 82nd minute. Salah did everything right. A perfect touch to control the ball, got by the defender and had a well-placed shot. Courtois was up for it once again.
COURTOIS. BEAST MODE. pic.twitter.com/zACTW8ncyM
Salah had six shots denied by Courtois.
He was simply unbeatable. With Liverpool’s attack snuffed out Real Madrid only needed one solid opportunity to win the game. Karim Benzema thought he had found that moment just before halftime when he scored after a mad scramble in the box. He would be controversially denied the goal.
BENZEMA WITH THE BALL IN THE NET. ...But he's ruled offside. pic.twitter.com/obMLUwCQBF
Real Madrid’s moment came in the 59th minute. Federico Valverde, who said he would sacrifice his wife if it meant winning the Champions League, played a perfect ball to Vini Jr. at the back post.
VINICIUS JR. BREAKTHROUGH FOR REAL MADRID. pic.twitter.com/GVzH0BsgvZ
For the third year in-a-row the Champions League final ended with a score line of 1-0 as Real Madrid lifted its FOURTEENTH title.
The moment Real Madrid clinched their FOURTEENTH European title. pic.twitter.com/Hytfip4FSM
CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE FOR THE FOURTEENTH TIME. pic.twitter.com/fVtkjGsH9M
One bonus note I’d like to mention is that my dear coworkers at The18 need to send an apology letter to Courtois immediately. On Friday The18 made a video where they were forced to pick between Liverpool and Real Madrid players. Every one of them picked Liverpool’s Alisson over Courtois.
— David Moore (@RunDavidMoore) May 28, 2022
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Courtois won Real Madrid this title. What a player.