Courtois talks about the evolution of the goalkeeper position and its recognition!
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On Monday evening, Yachine Trophy winner Thibaut Courtois was granted the right to give a traditional interview to France Football. An opportunity to speak out about the evolution of the Belgian international’s position.
On the evolution of the goalkeeper position
“The modern goalkeeper is no longer there just to save goals. Here in Madrid I have to start the game. I am the one who decides how to set up the attack or how to do it with the first pass” I will get rid of the pressure of the opponent. You’re almost a playmaker today. Goalkeepers are more important than you think. But of course, this is still a special position. There are more matches that I touch. more balls than my teammates. Today you have to be really complete because the position is more difficult than before. Besides, you don’t win trophies without a good goalkeeper. And in football trophies, we sometimes forget that. If you look at the top 10 Ballon d’Or in recent years, people are more than goalkeepers. It’s a shame. But we will continue to prove that goalkeepers are really important. Just as much as strikers.”
If we can appreciate the goalkeepers as well as the others
“I think so. But in the end there is Karim who scored 40 goals, there is Lewandowski who scored 40 goals like Mane, Salah or Mbappe. People who vote always go to the scorers first. But without a good goalkeeper, your team will not win the cup. A striker misses six times but his team will win 1-0 with his own goal and he could be man of the match. The goalkeeper can save a lot of goals at 1-0 and we won’t. I think the same way. By the way, even the defenders are a little forgotten. Hard in the award rankings that you find, and I think it’s a bit of a shame.”
“At the same time, it has improved. Everyone sees more that a good goalkeeper helps their club win. It is up to us to keep fighting to show that we are as important as the strikers. The greatest goalkeeper was with Manuel Neuer. He kept the balls deep, he dribbled a bit. People said to themselves: “Ah! Look at what Neuer did. Then we have young people. What he did at the 2014 World Cup had a huge impact. The goalkeeper was no longer the guy who had to stop the ball.
About how we always forget the guardian in naming systems
“It’s funny you say that. I was at my son’s training last week and I was talking to the coaches here at Real Madrid about it. They just have to say 1-4-4-2 or 1-4-3-3. In the end it’s just it’s a way of speaking. Everyone hears that there is always a goalkeeper at the door and the goal is not empty. I have no problem with that.”
Less room for error
“Yes, that’s for sure. (Smile.) Often it’s written in bigger letters (in newspapers) when there’s a goalkeeper who makes a ball. As soon as he makes a small mistake, we kill him, they say the match is lost. That’s why. Sometimes you forget that a forward, maybe five or six missed an easy scoring chance.”
Being a goalkeeper is a thankless position
“Sometimes. But you see in the press, among the fans, that they appreciate the great goalkeepers more and more. If we won the Champions League last year, it was not only thanks to Vinicius, Valverde, Benzema or Rodrigo. It is also thanks to Courtois.”
On the reasons why he chose to become a goalkeeper
“I played a lot of volleyball and I loved diving. When I was 7-8 years old, I was a left wing defender in Genk. One day we had an indoor tournament in Germany. The coach was looking for a goalkeeper and I offered to play all the matches. I was chosen as the best goalkeeper. The following year I still did both. I didn’t want to be a goalkeeper anymore when I was about 11. When you’re young you dream of scoring goals. Today that’s changing. My son is playing in Madrid at the age of 5 and there’s already a goalkeeper. It shows that there are more young people who want to be goalkeepers. . This is a good.”
If he has regrets
“No, never. I worked hard to get where I am today. Thanks to this position, I had many good moments in my life. I don’t regret anything.”
About his relationship with the coach
“Of course, you talk to your goalie coach more often, but you can talk to the head coach, no problem. You can discuss your thoughts, you can tell him how you see something. Me, defensively, But, I see. maybe they don’t. It’s every can change things.”
About competition for goalkeepers
“If you have two goalkeepers of the same level, the starting player commits a foul and you immediately bring on another, it does not help your confidence. Foreign players play eighty minutes, replace them, become a substitute in the next game because the substitute scored a goal. This is normal and It can work. But you can’t do that with a goalkeeper. You can’t bring a substitute in ten to fifteen minutes at the end of the game. You need skill, to improve and not to weaken.”
About “doing nothing” in certain matches
“We stay focused, keep talking, watching the game. You think about a possible counter-attack, you’re happy to see your teammates develop a good game, but in the end you stay focused.”
If it is the most developed position
“Yes, that’s for sure. Twenty years ago, you could be in goal, on your own line, and nobody asked you anything. You had a libero in front of you, clearing balls out of space, and that’s it. . . . Today, the Goalie doesn’t just shoot, he “starts” the game. Or the defender gives you a pass and you start dribbling and you make a choice. Sometimes you can have a great game without making any saves. But maybe with all the passes you made and all the good decisions you made, your team was able to attack well. That’s important.”
If the position can still develop
“That’s a good question… (He ponders.) It’s hard to say. The goalkeeper could combine the back four and go up high with the defenders. But even so, we’re already doing it. Maybe because of our size, we could have scored. The goals I scored from corners. Really scoring. I want to. A few years ago I had a header against Valencia, the goalkeeper saved it and Karim scored. Sometimes I think I could have scored with my two meters. But then, if there is a meter, it can be hot. Maybe in five years, if we meet again, it will change again.