Was he irritated by the reports that he took too few penalties? In any case, they were right for a goalkeeper of his level.Between his debut in 2010 with Genk and the end of the 2021 calendar year, he conceded 55 penalties and only saved eight of them. That’s a poor 14 percent, one in eight. This year he has 5 saved penalties out of 9. That is a save percentage of 56 percent, more than one in two.
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We were still worried at previous European and World Cups: Thibaut Courtois does not stop penalties. We devoted articles to it, even suggested using the Louis van Gaal trick if it ever came to a penalty shootout after 120 minutes. Then put specialist Simon Mignolet in the target. Then the Devils have a better chance of winning series. At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Louis van Gaal replaced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul in the final minute and won against Costa Rica in the quarterfinals on penalties. That reasoning.
Almost more penalties saved than in the previous eleven years
How times have changed. Thibaut Courtois already saved his fifth penalty kick this calendar year against Canada. That is 5 out of 9 in 2022. He must have gained confidence this year because none of the first three penalties he had to deal with this calendar year went in.
“Well, it is sometimes wrongly said that this is a bad point for me,” said Courtois after the game. “People say that quickly, because the last two years I have had much better statistics in that area. Although there is also some luck involved.”
Not quite. “I had studied the penalty kicks well,” the goalkeeper continued. “Although Davies only kicked two more, but both on the right. I did some soldering with him and that’s how it worked.”
Another historic milestone for the goalkeeper. He is now the first goalkeeper to stop a penalty for Belgium at a World Cup since observations began in 1966. Strong goalkeeper. But of course we already knew that.
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