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Featured Image Credit: BT Sport/Alamy
We have just witnessed one of the greatest goalkeeping performances of all time.
In what was a tight contest at the Stade de France on Saturday night, Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was ultimately the difference-maker, making nine saves against Liverpool to help Los Blancos win the trophy for a record 14th time.
A 59th minute strike from Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr sealed a historic win for the Spanish side, who have defied the odds on numerous occasions throughout this season's competition, but it was Courtois' heroics that kept Carlo Ancelotti's side in the game.
From pivotal first-half saves to deny Sadio Mane, to pulling off one of the best saves of the season against Mohamed Salah late on – the Belgian made Champions League final history with this quite magnificent stat.
Is he the best goalkeeper in the world right now? It's hard to argue that statement at this stage.
Here's a couple of Courtois' best saves from Saturday's final against Liverpool. Enjoy.
Ahead of kick-off, a confident Courtois, who has made 33% of his saves this season in Real Madrid's magnificent Champions League campaign, sent a warning to favourites Liverpool.
"They’ve already played one final against Madrid in 2018. It was different for me," he said. "Real Madrid, when they play a final, they win it, and so now I’m on the right side of history."
And after the full-time whistle, Courtois wants fans to "put respect" on his name after his Man of the Match performance.
He said: "Today I needed to win a final for my career, for all the hard work, to put some respect on my name, because I don't think I get enough respect. Especially in England."
"Today I needed to win a final for my career, for all the hard work, to put some respect on my name, because I don't think I get enough respect. Especially in England." 🤐— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 28, 2022
Put respect on Thibaut Courtois' name 👊
🎙 @TheDesKelly | #UCLfinal pic.twitter.com/YHhlO5lELZ
Here's how social media reacted to his heroics.
One thing that's clear from Benzema's comments before the game and Courtois' afterwards is Real had a proper siege mentality, as if everyone was disrespecting them and suggesting Liverpool had already won. Even if imagined, it worked— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) May 28, 2022
Courtois has set the record of most saves ever by any goalkeeper during a Champions League campaign. Think he accrued 50% of that from just tonight. Monumental.— Xav Salazar (@XavsFutbol) May 28, 2022
Thibaut Courtois' mood when he woke up this morning 🇧🇪 👏 pic.twitter.com/qPJK2lgRA8— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) May 28, 2022
Thoughts on Courtois' performance against Liverpool?
Let us know in the comments,