GIUSEPPE CACACE/Getty ImagesThibaut Courtois earned lofty praise from Real Madrid president Florentino Perez after his heroics during the penalty shootout against Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.Courtois saved decisively from Thomas Partey to help Real win Sunday’s final in Saudi Arabia. Atleti also saw Saul Niguez hit the post from 12 yards, with Los Blancos eventually winning 4-1 following a 0-0 draw after extra time.Skipper Sergio Ramos converted the decisive penalty, but Perez was content to talk up Courtois in the aftermath: Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorriganFlorentino on TV “Courtois is the best keeper in the world, and he showed that day. Fede Valverde also played an extraordinary game today.”Courtois merited the praise after the way he came through in clutch moments. The quality of his performance was obvious even during normal time when the former Chelsea man made two terrific stops to deny Alvaro Morata and Partey.Morata might have won it deep into injury time, but he was cynically brought down by Federico Valverde. The latter was sent off for the professional foul, but he had ensured penalties would be needed to separate the two rivals from the Spanish capital.Courtois later explained how he’d prepared to face Atletico’s penalties. He told Marca (h/t Football Espana’s Feargal Brennan): “I looked at their previous penalties on the bench with the coaching staff. Saul surprised me a little with his penalty, but I knew where Thomas would put his. It was still difficult, as he hit it hard, but I am happy to make the save.”The man who won La Liga as a loan star with Atletico in 2014 also felt Real’s belief was the difference during the shoot out:Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 @realmadriden💪🚫 This is what @thibautcourtois had to say after his title-winning performance in the Spanish Super Cup final!
#RMSuperCopa | #Supercampeones https://t.co/lZa3cd3Lo6Courtois is naturally upbeat, but the 27-year-old hasn’t had it all his own way since joining Real in a deal worth around £35 million back in 2018. The Belgian endured some rocky moments, including briefly losing his place to Alphonse Areola earlier this season, per Goal’s Rik Sharma.Yet as Sharma pointed out, Courtois’ career with Los Merengues has now been revived. There’s also an element of revenge for Courtois, with Sharma describing how Atleti fans put garbage and “soft toy rats” around the player’s plaque at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.Courtois may have answered his critics, but whether he justifies Perez’s claim he’s the best on the planet at his position remains open to debate. Former Atletico ace David De Gea is an elite shot-stopper, but mistakes have crept into his game during recent seasons with Manchester United.Squawka Football @SquawkaSince the start of the 2018/19 Premier League season, no player has made more errors leading to goals (6) than David de Gea.
😳 https://t.co/OMKXfcAX0VHowever, Atleti’s current No. 1 Jan Oblak would be a popular choice for world’s best among many:UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeagueJan Oblak 🤯🤯🤯
🔴⚪️ The @Atleti star turns 27 today 🥳
#UCL | #HBD https://t.co/6SDoNoBqlxMeanwhile, Liverpool’s Alisson Becker and Manchester City’s Ederson would surely also feature in the conversation.There are a lot of talented goalkeepers at the summit of the game, but Courtois has the hardware to back his talent. Lifting silverware with Real adds to a career haul that’s included Premier League and La Liga titles.Few teams would pass up the chance to have Courtois act as their last line of defence.