Thierry Courtois, the father of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, has criticised the way in which the English media treats his son.
Since arriving at Chelsea after his multi-season loan spell with Atletico Madrid ended following the 2013/14 season, Courtois has established himself as one of the best keepers in the Premier League and managed to make the starting position at the Blues his own, usurping the legendary Petr Cech to the number one jersey.
Cech had been the Blues’ first-choice keeper for well over a decade at the time of his dislodging and many felt that the Czech Republic international had been hard done by.
Nevertheless, Courtois has impressed in the goalkeeper jersey and has also become regarded as one of the best ‘keepers in the world – although Manchester United’s David de Gea is believed by most pundits to have the slight edge over him.
Despite some heroic displays for Chelsea over the years, Courtois has also come under his fair share of criticism from the English press, coming in for particular stick last season as the Blues went on to finish fifth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League for the second time in three seasons.
Chelsea were never really a threat to eventual Premier League champions Manchester City and their defence of the top-flight title, which they had won convincingly during the 2016/17 term, was lacklustre by their standards.
Last season’s performance is expected to result in a major squad overhaul at Stamford Bridge this summer as well as the departure of Antonio Conte. Nevertheless, Courtois is expected to remain at the club and his performances will continue to be vital as the club looks to once again challenge for major silverware.
The Belgium international goalkeeper’s father, Thierry Courtois, told Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws: “I fill in my list every week because I like that. And Thibaut goes through my file so he can set goals for himself. ‘Still a clean sheet.’ It motivates him, without becoming an obsession.
“I think Thibaut is sufficiently in shape to be decisive for the national team (laughs). He showed that in the FA Cup final, where he was on top of his game. It’s good, because in the English press he had been criticised, but that is mainly because the bar for Thibaut is higher than for others.”