Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand greet Real Madrid star after Liverpool win | Soccer

Thibaut Courtois was at his best in the Champions League final

Thibaut Courtois was at his best in the Champions League final (Images: Getty)

Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand were blown away by Thibaut Courtois’ performance Real Madrid defeated Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois was at his best for the Spanish champions on Saturday night, delivering a series of superb saves to help Real Madrid triumph in Paris and win their 14th Champions League.

Courtois fended off Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane before half-time and saved Salah in the second half with an impressive save after Vinicius Junior put Real Madrid ahead.

Thanks largely to Courtois, Vinicius’ second-half goal proved crucial as Liverpool were denied their seventh Champions League title and third trophy of the season.

After Real Madrid’s narrow win, Anfield legend Gerrard and Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand both praised Courtois for BT Sport.

Ferdinand said: “During a couple of saves, it was almost like you had to look at each other in disbelief and say, ‘Wow, how did he do that?’

“He looked like a man obsessed with that goal. Mo Salah couldn’t take it anymore, it’s just a fantastic goalkeeping performance from Courtois. He was phenomenal tonight.’

Ex-Liverpool captain Gerrard added: “He absolutely deserves the Man of the Match award. He took off nine shots today and Sadio Mane’s second is world class, Salah’s last is even better.

“It was phenomenal to get such a strong arm on it and push it a long way. Save the Salah… wow.’

Former England striker Michael Owen was also full of praise for Courtois after Real Madrid’s win.

He said: “Two saves come to mind. There was one he flicked onto the post from Mane and another from Mo Salah.

“The first is an incredible save. He just walked past us and the size of the man… he’s huge and even though he comes down so fast… you’re one of the best in the world.”

Courtois, meanwhile, said he was delighted to prove his supposed critics wrong after delivering a superb performance of all time on the biggest stage of them all.

“Yesterday in the press conference I said that Madrid wins when they play finals. I was on the bright side of history,” the shotstopper said.

“I saw many tweets coming my way that would humiliate me today, it was the other way around.

“Today I had to win a final for my career, for all the hard work to get my name respected, as I feel I don’t get enough respect, especially in England. I saw a lot of criticism even after a great season.

“I’m really proud of the team. We stuck to that and when I needed to be there, I was there for the team. We’ve beaten some of the best clubs in the world.

“Manchester City and Liverpool have been incredible this season. They fought to the end in the Premier League, Liverpool won two trophies and they were really strong.

“We played a great game today. We had a chance and we converted it.”

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Liverpool FC Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand greet Real Madrid star after Liverpool win | Soccer

Nate Jones

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