After his excellent performance in the European Championship match Belgium – Portugal (1-0), Thibaut Courtois answered a Dutch football analyst. “I often hear criticism of our defense, but we were there,” said the number 1 of the Red Devils. “He is a phenomenon”, Jan Vertonghen jumped in.

Thibaut Courtois really had to make an effort for the first time this tournament. After the 1/8th final, the Belgian fans also chanted his name.

“Except in Copenhagen, I had little work in the group stage,” he begins his story with our reporter Ruben Van Gucht in Seville. “Now it was different against so much offensive force. I often hear criticism of our defense, but we were there.”

“During an interview you let me hear criticism from the Dutch, but we are through and they are now out”, Courtois has to say.

“We are unlucky that we are in a half with the top teams, but we do have the quality for it. Let’s hope we can recover everyone for the quarterfinals against Italy.”

“It was hard work”, admits the goalkeeper, “but the coach also asked us that. Whoever works the hardest would win the match.”

We had to work, but that’s what the coach had asked us to do.

Thibaut Courtois

VIDEO: Lefguzer Courtois cuts Ronaldo out

Jan Vertonghen: “Thibaut is a phenomenon”

Record international Jan Vertonghen immediately put feathers on the hat of Thibaut Courtois.

“Thibaut is the best goalkeeper I’ve played with, a phenomenon,” said the defender. “And then he cuts Ronaldo out for a while.”

“We certainly didn’t show our best football. What we did show is that we are a team.”

Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne are still doing well. “I saw them laughing in the dressing room anyway. Hopefully they’re okay because we’re going to need them.”

At the very end, Vertonghen got a little excited when Carrasco countered badly. “That wasn’t personal, but everyone was having cramps. I was scolding,” he laughed.

Thomas Vermaelen: “Had to fight hard”

In the back, the Belgians counted on their experienced defenders: Thomas Vermaelen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

“I am very happy”, Vermaelen responds. “We had to fight hard for it, especially in the second half it was important to keep the lead.”

“We didn’t do enough in possession to keep the pressure off,” said the central defender.

“At times we hung in the ropes, but we have remained upright. Thanks to our keeper too.”

Vermaelen had to compete against Ronaldo. And he did that very well. “You have to stay sharp throughout the match,” he said. “Because you can win 9 games, but lose that 10th game.”

Italy awaits in Munich on Friday. “Let’s enjoy it first. This match cost us a lot of energy.”

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