Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is amongst the leading contenders to win the Golden Glove award at the World Cup 2018 – but can he beat out the likes of Jordan Pickford to the prestigious title?
The Belgian produced a stunning display on Friday as his country secured a 2-1 win over five-time world champions Brazil to advance to the semifinals of the competition for the second time in their history. They are set to now play France on Tuesday in what will be a mouth-watering encounter.
Belgium are said to currently be experiencing a golden generation, with world-class talents such as Courtois, Kevin de Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Vincent Kompany all in the side and in exceptional form.
Throughout the second half of the game against Brazil, it was Tite’s side that dominated and Courtois had to produce a brilliant save to deny Neymar during the 93rd minute of the game. The classy 6’6″ keeper made it look routine, but the Brazilian would have probably scored against most of the other best goalkeepers in the world had they been between the sticks instead.
Courtois may have to battle England’s Pickford and France’s Hugo Lloris for the title of best goalkeeper at this World Cup. Like Courtois, the Tottenham captain has kept two clean sheets thus far. The 31-year-old also produced one of the best saves of the World Cup so far on Saturday as he got a hand to Martin Caceres’ header shortly before half-time. The French were leading 1-0 at the time and eventually went on to win 2-0 after Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera very uncharacteristically committed a monumental error to gift Antoine Griezmann an easy goal in the second stanza.
On paper, France will be the favourites to win the semi-final against Belgium and this could give Lloris the upper hand in the fight for the Golden Glove award. However, this has proven to so far be a World Cup of surprises and who knows; if Belgium put up a similar performance to the one they turned in against Brazil, they could get the better of the French and even go all the way and claim their first ever World Cup title.