Benzema appeared in Paris with a double challenge: the team to lift the title with Real Madrid and the team to equal Cristiano Ronaldo as the top scorer in the same edition of the Champions League (17, in 2013-14). The Frenchman had just scored in nine of the eleven European games on the way to the final (15 goals) and this Saturday he saw the goal again, but his goal did not go up on the scoreboard due to offside. Vinicius, with a goal for history, and Courtois, a giant one more night with up to six goal stops, became the great protagonists of a team, above all, coral. A European champion for the fourteenth time based on the stops and the pride of the Belgian goalkeeper.
(The chronicle of the final: Madrid, eternal king in a football of emirs)
Decisive with his performances on the way to Paris, the goalkeeper was once again decisive in keeping Real Madrid in the final. Brilliant in the first half with two miraculous hands to Salah and Mané, he has been a life insurance also after the break. With the 0-1, he showed off up to four times against the Egyptian, who made the night bitter in the second half. A fundamental man for the conquest of the Fourteenth.
The lanky 30-year-old goalkeeper, who the day before the match had declared at a conference that being at Real Madrid was "on the good side of history", has won his first Champions League after losing the final of the 2014 edition defending Atlético de Madrid, precisely against his current team (4-1). "It's been a long time since I remembered such a decisive goalkeeper in a Champions League final, Thibaut Courtois", Iker Casillas, one of the great goalkeepers in the history of Real Madrid, has stated on his social networks.
The Belgian goalkeeper lived an unforgettable night this Saturday at the Stade de France, where he left several stops to remember, especially one to Mohamed Salah in the final stages. Courtois became the nightmare of the African striker, who also denied the goal on two other occasions with two good saves, one at the start of the game down, and another in the second, already with 0-1 on the scoreboard, with a stretch that deflected the Liverpool forward's sharp shot. His stoppage poker was completed with another sensational hand in the first half to a shot from Sadio Mané that hit the post. A brilliant performance that has made the Real Madrid goalkeeper the 'Man of the Match' of the 2021-2022 Champions League final.
The arrival of Courtois at Real Madrid from Chelsea coincided with the end of the glorious era of the team that, under the leadership of Zinedine Zidane, won three consecutive Champions Leagues. Despite the fact that his path to ownership was not without potholes, such as the presence of a Keylor Navas who had won three Champions Leagues and had the affection of the fans, the Belgian gradually earned his place, leading his Costa Rican competitor to make the decision to leave for Paris Saint-Germain.
Since then, Courtois has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world thanks to his security under the sticks, his agility and reflexes despite being two meters tall... and this title in the Champions League, which makes him pass a Upper level.
"I needed to win a final for my career, for all the work, so that my name would be respected, as I don't think enough was done, especially in England," Courtois said at the end of the match on the microphones of BT Sport.