Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has insisted that he never lost confidence in himself, despite an incredibly difficult time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
After joining from Chelsea in the summer of 2018, Courtois struggled to impress as Madrid endured a poor campaign. That form looked to have carried over into the current season, but the Belgian has recently improved and kept his fifth consecutive clean sheet in the 4-0 win over Eibar.
"I have never lost my peace of mind, I know what I am worth,” he said.
“[The clean sheet] is good for the whole team. It is not just the goalkeeper's job but the whole team. You have to defend together and attack together. So it is very difficult to score.
"I am always grateful to keep a clean sheet. Though after [the goalless draw with] Real Betis I would have preferred to concede a goal and win. All you have to do is work, have confidence in yourself and keep working.”
The result ensured Madrid kept pace with Barcelona at the top of La Liga's standings. La Blaugrana are only ahead on goal difference, and both sides have a game in hand over the rest of the league - the meeting between the two which was rescheduled to 18 December.
Having conceded just nine goals in 12 games this season, Madrid boast the second best defensive record in the league, and a large part of that has been Courtois' recent improvement in goal.
Three of Courtois' five clean sheets this season have come in La Liga, with the Belgian making a number of impressive saves to keep Madrid's momentum going.