Real Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, has credited Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer for making the the role of a goalkeeper as a sweeper-keeper become popular.
During the 2014 World Cup, Neuer not only stole the limelight for his shot-stopping skills but also for his heroics as a sweeper keeper.
He would start the build-up play and then charge off his line to sweep up opposition attacks.
In the entire Brazil tournament, which Germany won, he just conceded four goals to land the Golden Glove award. Courtois has since tried to follow in Neuer’s footsteps. He admits that the Bayern No.1 was the man to revolutionise the role of a modern goalkeeper.
“It was with Neuer that there was the biggest change. What he did at the 2014 World Cup had a huge impact on what came next.
The goalkeeper was no longer just the guy who had to stop the ball,” Courtois said in an interview with L’Equipe.
The Real Madrid shot-stopper won the Yachine Trophy for 2022. He claimed the prize ahead of Neuer after he kept 22 clean sheets in all competitions last season. Courtois conceded just 46 goals to help Madrid clinch both La Liga and the Champions League.
Courtois received the Yashin Trophy for his outstanding efforts in the 2021–2022 campaign.
Following his 2018 transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu, Courtois largely failed to match his Atletico Madrid and Chelsea days’ performances. But he did put on a few standout performances as they won La Liga and the Champions League last season.
His greatest moment came in the Champions League final in May. Los Blancos defeated Liverpool 1-0 at the Stade de France, while he kept a clean sheet and made several incredible saves. For his efforts, Courtois received the Player of the Match award.
Alisson won the inaugural prize when the award was given out in 2019, making Courtois the third recipient. Gianluigi Donnarumma received the Yashin Trophy when the Ballon d’Or awards were resumed in 2021 after being suspended by France Football in 2020.
Although this is Courtois’ first time receiving the award formally, the RSSSF retroactively declared that he would have won in 2018. This is because he received the highest number of votes among goalkeepers for the Ballon d’Or.
With Real Madrid still undefeated this season and appearing a safe bet to at least retain their La Liga title, Courtois has carried his excellent form from last season into this one.