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Canizares: Neuer and Courtois at the same level

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Santiago Canizares says Manuel Neuer and Thibaut Courtis are the two best goalkeepers in the world by some distance and feels that the pair are at the same level.Neuer is regarded by many pundits as the No.1 shot-stopper on the planet and has been rewarded for his sensational performances for Bayern Munich and Germany this year by being short-listed for the Ballon d'Or alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Canizares has the utmost respect for the 28-year-old but he has just as much admiration for Chelsea ace Thibaut Courtois, who has displaced Petr Cech as Jose Mourinho's first-choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge following three successful seasons in La Liga with Atletico Madrid."Neuer is absolutely world class; without a doubt" the Spaniard told the Bundesliga's official website."But I would classify Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea as roughly equal [to Neuer]. "For me, they are by far the two best goalkeepers [in the world]."Canizares revealed that he has been following Neuer's career for some time now and feels that the Gelsenkirchen native has improved dramatically since leaving hometown club Schalke for Bayern in 2011."Manuel is a giant of a goalkeeper," he said. "He has grown incredibly in the last few years. "I have a feeling that he has gained a lot of self-confidence since joining Bayern from Schalke.

"He has clearly worked a lot on the mental side of things. Assertiveness is the most important thing for a goalkeeper and you can see that with him. At the World Cup he was outstanding. "His impressive physique is also noteworthy but, primarily, what sticks out is his great personality, as we have seen in the past with Germany's other great goalkeepers, like Oliver Kahn and Sepp Maier."As a goalkeeper, he is strong in virtually every department. But these things are complemented by his great personality."When I look at him now, he's very impressive and if I compare the Neuer of Schalke to the Neuer of Bayern, then I'd say he has improved 100 per cent."
 
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