Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois sends classy message to Liverpool fans after heroics

Liverpool v Real Madrid: Champions League final pictures

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Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has sent a classy message to Liverpool fans after some of them struggled to gain entry to the Stade de France ahead of Saturday’s Champions League final. Courtois was in inspired form as his side became European champions for the 14th time after seeing off the Reds 1-0 in Paris.

There were chaotic scenes ahead of the European season decider as French police used tear gas, pepper spray, batons and shields to disperse supporters outside the ground. Kick-off was delayed by 36 minutes, with some Reds fans unable to get to their seats until half time. And there were more clashes after the match had come to an end, with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher claiming some of his family had been tear gassed.

“I feel sorry for @LFC fans and the way they were treated,” Courtois wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning. “I hope everyone got home safe!”

UEFA blamed the chaos on fans attempting to enter the stadium with “fake” tickets. But Reds defender Andy Robertson later insisted that one of his friends was told his ticket wasn’t legitimate, even though it was. And Liverpool released a statement after the match as the club asked for an investigation to be launched.

 

Courtois was called upon to make nine saves during the final as Liverpool peppered his goal time and time again. And his endeavours on his way to his 22nd clean sheet of the season saw him named man-of-the-match.

The 30-year-old, who joined Los Blancos from Chelsea in 2018, commanded his penalty area throughout the contest as he organised his defence and looked assured between the posts. And the Belgium international kept his best save till last as he denied Mohamed Salah for the sixth time after the Egyptian had raced onto a pass from Thiago with eight minutes remaining.

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Courtois was clearly pleased with his performance. And he hit back at his critics after the final whistle. “Today I needed to win a final for my career, for all the hard work, to put some respect on my name – because I don’t think I get enough respect, especially in England,” the shot-stopper said. “There was a magazine in March that didn’t put me in the best 10 goalkeepers. I don’t know – I think that’s a lack of respect.

“I saw plenty of funny stuff coming out of England. I guess it’s to do with how I left Chelsea. I won the Premier League twice in England and I don’t think I ever really get recognised for it, especially after my first year in Madrid. It was not great – a lot of people laughed at me. Now here I am as a winner – so it’s a nice comeback.”

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