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You have to believe you're the best, Courtois claims

Amid uncertainty over the Chelsea goalkeeper's future, Thibaut Courtois says great players are obliged to believe they are the among the best in the world.

The Belgium shot-stopper is highly regarded after winning the Premier League title twice at Stamford Bridge, having previously impressed on loan at Atletico Madrid.

Courtois, whose deal expires at the end of the 2018-19 season, stated this month he is not rushing to agree a new contract with the west London club, prompting manager Antonio Conte to urge Chelsea to secure the player's services.

Still only 25, Courtois certainly has a claim to the honour of being considered the world's top keeper.

Asked by Sky Sports if he considers himself worthy of such lofty status, he replied: "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 mindset.

"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 mindset.

"I think every great player in the world, and every great goalkeeper in the world will have that mindset, and it should be like that. I try to work every day very hard to become better and better."

Reigning champions Chelsea have struggled to hit the heights they achieved in Conte's debut campaign in charge and sit third in the table, as they struggle to keep pace with frontrunners Manchester City.

"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," Courtois said.

"For us they are must-win games. If you want to play to win the title, those games you have to win, of course.

"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."