Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois feels he is the best goalkeeper in the world, and says all great players should have that mindset.
The 25-year-old Belgian has been a consistent performer for Chelsea since returning from a successful loan spell at Atletico Madrid in 2014, helping them to the title in 2014/15 and last season.
His manager Antonio Conte said last week that Courtois was among the best goalkeepers in the world, and the man himself says it is important to have the self-belief that you are the best.
Asked if he feels close to, or if not the best goalkeeper in the world, Courtois told Sky Sports News: “Yeah, I think obviously I feel like that, you have to have the self-belief that you are the best, that’s important to have that mind-set.
“Obviously there are other great goalkeepers, so it’s not for me to judge who is the best, but obviously I feel the best because that has to be your mind-set.
“I think every great player in the world, and every great goalkeeper in the world will have that mind-set, and it should be like that. I try to work every day very hard to become better and better.”
Premier League title holders Chelsea are 11 points behind leaders Manchester City, after just over a third of the season gone.
Conte’s side have Swansea (H), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Huddersfield (A), Southampton (H) and Everton (A) to play before Christmas, and Courtois insists each game is a must-win, and hopes City falter to allow other teams to close the gap.
“I think all games coming up are must-win games, I think if you are 11 points behind City, you have to keep winning and hope they lose some points.
“For us they are must-win games. If you want to play to win the title, those games you have to win of course.
“We are still there in it, but it depends on ourselves, we need to keep winning and see what others do. At the moment City are playing well and winning, so you have to hope that they drop points, and that you yourself keep on winning.
“I didn’t look at [Man City’s] fixtures because to me they’re not important, we have to look to ourselves, and we have games coming up against teams that are always hard to beat, but if you want to play to win a title, you have to win [these kind of games].
“I think we have tough fixtures, but obviously not against the top six, so they are games we have to win and to get a winning run.”
Chelsea have been impressive in stages this season, but have suffered defeats by Crystal Palace, Burnley and title rivals Man City, and Courtois admits winning a title brings with it difficulties for the following season.
“I think the year after winning a title is always harder I think, but I think we are showing that we want to try to keep the title.
“Obviously you can see there is one team better than the rest, that you have to admit, and you just have to try to keep winning your games.”