Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet stirred up the Belgian goalkeeping situation when he claimed he will be doing anything to possible to grab the number one jersey ahead of the World Cup this summer in Brazil even if it is at the expense of Thibaut Courtois.
Mignolet has been in good form for Liverpool since moving from Sunderland in a £9m last summer. The 25-year-old has started all 24 of the Reds’ Premier League games so far this campaign, conceding 29 goals and keeping six clean sheets.
Despite a solid debut season at Anfield, it is not enough for Mignolet to dislodge his Belgian teammate Thibaut Courtois. The youngster is the national side’s current number one and is enjoying yet another fabulous season in La Liga on loan at Atletico Madrid.
The Chelsea loanee has made such an impression that coaches and pundits alike are now comparing him to the world’s best. Courtois has contributed in all of Atletico Madrid’s 22 La Liga matches – conceding just 14 goals and keeping an astonishing 11 clean sheets.
However, the 21-year-old keeper had caught wind of Mignolet’s World Cup objective and didn’t like what he had heard – describing it as a lack of respect. Courtois mentions the unity which Spanish goalkeepers Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes and David De Gea have despite playing for big rivals – believing that his national teammate could learn from their example:
"In Spain, I hear no goalkeeper saying they're aiming for the place of Casillas,"
"Not De Gea, not Valdes, not Reina. It's the opposite - they back Casillas."
"Simon can say whatever he wants, but I think I've already saved enough points for Belgium and I'm playing good games for Atletico. He has to stay humble and respectful."
image: © Ronnie Macdonald