Thibaut Courtois’ howler during Belgium versus Russia on Thursday sums up his nightmare of a year for the Real Madrid goalkeeper.
The 26-year-old dawdled on the edge of his box and lost possession to hand the visitors an equaliser two minutes after Youri Tielemans’ opening goal.
Despite Belgium marching on to secure a 3-1 win and Eden Hazard attempting to take the sting out of Courtois’ error with a post-match joke, neither is likely to have completely saved his confidence.
That said, the Los Blancos stopper is putting on a brave face in front of the media amid his rocky first season at the Santiago Bernabeu.
In fact, Courtois insists there are few better between the sticks than him.
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“I still consider myself one of the best in the world,” he said, per AS.
“Even though the Spanish press want to kill me. I feel strong, I'm calm, playing well and training well.”
While it could be argued the former Chelsea star has been subjected to overly harsh criticism, his stock has also taken a serious hit beyond the media.
Keylor Navas got the nod over Courtois against Celta Vigo last weekend in what was Zinedine Zidane’s first match since returning to Madrid at the expense of Santiago Solari.
The decision was welcomed by those fans who are still waiting for the Belgian to show why he was brought in as the successor to his Costa Rican teammate last summer.
In light of Courtois’ dwindling reputation, Marca has run a poll asking readers to choose between him and ten other goalkeepers on a head-to-head basis.
Roughly 3,000 votes have been cast at the time of writing - and the results aren’t pretty.
Courtois was preferred to only three of his peers: Kasper Schmeichel, Hugo Lloris and, rather surprisingly, Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The two closest contests were between the Belgian and Gianluigi Buffon and Manuel Neuer, with just over half of voters opting for the 41-year-old and the Bayern Munich star.
Crucially, it seems fans believe Courtois is no longer among the elite, with Jan Oblak, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, David de Gea, Alisson and Keylor Navas winning by comfortable margins.
Check out the full results below…
Where do you rank Courtois among the best goalkeepers in the world? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below.News Now - Sport News