The former Chelsea custodian endured a tough start to his time at Santiago Bernabeu, but is now considered to sit at the top of the global game
Thibaut Courtois is, according to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, the best goalkeeper in the world and a man destined to “break all records” at Real Madrid.
The 27-year-old endured a testing start to life at Santiago Bernabeu after returning to Spain from Chelsea in the summer transfer window of 2018.
Having previously starred in La Liga during a multi-year loan stint at Atletico Madrid, Real were considered to have acquired one of the most reliable custodians in the game.
Questions were asked of Courtois in his debut campaign, but he has looked back to his best in 2019-20.
Martinez never had any doubts when it comes to the ability of a man who has savoured title triumphs in England and Spain.
For him, Courtois is capable of becoming an iconic figure in Madrid.
“It has always been clear that he was aware of what it takes to be No.1 of Madrid,” Martinez told AS.
“He came at a time of change, quite difficult, but he was always very focused to demonstrate what he is. Since Galatasaray in Champions, from there he has been essential in the results.
“He is still very young and can undoubtedly break all records in Madrid’s goal. His maturity is well above his years.”
Pressed on whether Courtois could be considered the finest keeper on the planet, Martinez added: “Definitely.
“The World Cup was a reflection of that: he was the best. Being the best at the World Cup, joining Madrid and his qualities and size allow him to do things that others cannot.”
Courtois faced competition from Keylor Navas when linking up with Real, but saw the Costa Rican leave for Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 and is now firmly established as first choice under Zinedine Zidane.
“He is a player who understands, and very well, that when you don’t win a match in a team as demanding as Madrid, you have to be very mature and improve to do well in the next one,” said Martinez.
“It is very troublesome when you are not ready for that pressure, but Courtois is and does not let that affect his confidence and his level.
“He has constantly adapted and improved. We all know that he will mark an era in Madrid.”
Courtois has taken in 66 appearances for Real across all competitions, taking in Club World Cup and Spanish Super Cup successes along the way.
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