Thibaut Courtois credits his own importance to Real Madrid's success

Courtois certainly backs himself
Courtois certainly backs himself / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois believes he was just as important to them winning the Champions League last season as his outfield colleagues.

The Belgian recently lifted the 2022 Yashin Trophy and placed seventh overall in the Ballon d'Or rankings as teammate Karim Benzema won the award for the first time.

But Courtois has been critical of the lack of recognition he has received for his form in recent times and believes the importance of goalkeepers continue to be overlooked.

Speaking to L'Equipe, Courtois delivered an honest assessment: "Last year, if we won the Champions League it wasn't just thanks to Vinicius, Valverde, Benzema or Rodrygo. It was also thanks to Courtois."

He added: "The modern goalkeeper no longer only saves goals. Here in Madrid I also have to start the plays, it is I who with the first pass will decide how we are going to mount the attack or how we are going to get out of the rival's pressure.

"Today you are almost a playmaker, goalkeepers are much more important than you think."

The 30-year-old kept five clean sheets in 13 Champions League appearances last season and put in a stellar display in the final to ensure Real lifted the trophy.

"Without a good goalkeeper you don't win a trophy. And in football awards, sometimes we forget that," he stated, further discussing the scrutiny goalkeepers are subjected to: "It is often written in big letters (in the newspapers) when it is a goalkeeper who makes a mistake. As soon as he makes a small mistake, they kill him and say the game was lost because of him.

"They don’t remember that the striker may have missed five or six easy chances before it."