Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has discussed the way in which he has had to deal with a lot of criticism in the media, referring to the treatment he received in Spain as a ‘tsunami.’

The 28-year-old was roundly criticised in his first couple of years at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but he is now one of  Los Blancos most consistent performers.

“When you see where I’ve come from at Real Madrid… I survived a tsunami there,” Courtois told the Belgian newspaper HLN.

“In 2020 I won the Supercopa [de Espana] with a decisive save in the penalty shootout. And then I read from analysts: ‘Courtois deserves the Belgian of the Year trophy less than [Romelu] Lukaku, because he was always with the national team while Courtois withdrew a few times…’

“I didn’t go to Denmark [with the Belgian national team] in September because I was just on holiday and I thought I needed to be better prepared.”

Courtois also reflected on the way in which he was widely praised while he was performing for Atletico Madrid, but that his accomplishments at Real Madrid are not viewed in the same way.

“I had three fantastic years at Atletico, I received praise from all over Belgium,” he recognised. “I became Sportsman of the Year and I thought it was good.

“Today I have the feeling that everything I do has become normal. My performance in that game against Valladolid, I think, seemed like it didn’t exist.

“It seems that continuing to play at a high level at the biggest club in the world is no longer worth the effort.”

The European Championship will take place next summer and the goalkeeper is confident about Belgium’s chances of success.

“If we have the best Eden [Hazard], the best Kevin [De Bruyne] and the best Romelu [Lukaku], then we will be contenders to win,” Courtois said.

“I don’t think we have a worse team than two years ago at the World Cup. Some will retire, some will leave, but others have evolved and gained more experience.”