Friday, December 9

Courtois: “When the penalties were awarded in Valencia nobody said anything”

Thibaut Courtois, during the press conference. / Photo: Andy Rain (Efe) | Video: Atlas

Rooms | Going

The Real Madrid goalkeeper intervenes in the debate on the referees and remarks that the tie against Chelsea will be different from last year

Thibaut Courtois was in charge of speaking before the duel between Real Madrid and Chelsea, corresponding to the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. With Carlo Ancelotti still in Madrid waiting for a negative PCR that allows him to travel to London and sit on the bench, the goalkeeper reviewed a clash that will mean his reunion with the ‘blue’ parish, after last year’s visit ended without an audience due to the restrictions still in force to fight the coronavirus pandemic. “That tie last year was different, without fans and later in the season. It’s another season, we’re really looking forward to it, we know what’s at stake and we’re going to give everything to win with the right intensity,” said the goalkeeper.

Real Madrid faces the stake with the controversy over the three penalties awarded in favor of the Whites on the last day of the League, which is still hot. Courtois resorted to the past to intervene in the matter. “After Valencia, when they took three penalties against us, nobody said anything. Now it seems that we won only because of the referees, and it is not like that. There are complicated games, like the one against Vigo, and we pulled it off. It is normal for rivals to take penalties, we attack with high-quality players », highlighted the Belgian, who claimed the course that his team is taking, despite criticism. “That is something that always happens at Real Madrid. Although we come from a streak of ten wins, if you lose or draw one there is criticism. We know where we are, what we are doing. We haven’t won the League yet, only the Super Cup. We have full confidence », he stressed.

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He reviewed his campaigns at Chelsea. “I have played here for four years, where I have won two leagues and two cups. I only have nice memories. It is true that my departure was not in the best way, but that’s it. I come here with Real Madrid to qualify for the semi-final and that’s the important thing”, said the goalkeeper, who praised Thomas Tuchel’s team. “This year it may be costing them a little more because of the situation, but the dynamic is the same, they are a great team,” he said.

Become one of the differentiating factors of Real Madrid along with Benzema, the Belgian recognized that he is experiencing one of the best moments of his career. “I hope to continue helping the team, making important saves. In a match like this, first leg, it is essential. I hope we get a good result to return to the Bernabéu », indicated Courtois, who did not go too far in judging if he is underestimated when drawing up the lists of the best goalkeepers in the world. «It could be, but what I can do is train hard, as I do, play the best I can and on the field make those people crazy. Goalkeepers are often a matter of taste: tall, short, who play more with their feet or less… There are a lot of goalkeepers, Cech, Kahn, Casillas, Van der Saar… They can give their opinion. Journalists don’t know what it’s like to be under the goal », he stopped.

Is Courtois the best goalkeeper in the world?, they insisted. “That is the assessment of people like you, of journalists and analysts. Maybe a Spaniard says yes, and an Englishman says no. But I don’t need it, that depends on taste. I know I have to play well to help my team. I have confidence, I think I’m one of the best. Confidence is important for goalkeepers. Without confidence, you don’t go for some balls. Those details help,” he replied.

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Hood to Hazard

He downplayed the possible absence of Ancelotti on the Stamford Bridge bench. «We are lucky that the second is his son, in the end it is very similar. We know very well how he wants us to train, there is a great coaching staff, he has participated in video-call talks. It makes a difference if he is on the bench or not, but in Vigo the coaching staff did well, I don’t think it’s a problem », he said.

Regarding his teammate Eden Hazard, also a former Chelsea player but who will not be able to be in his former home after undergoing surgery to remove the plate he had on his right fibula, he was convinced that he can still shine at Real Madrid. “I am sure it is very useful for us. Hazard’s class and talent is something that is not forgotten. He hasn’t been lucky, but I know he’s in good spirits. He is recovering to start the preseason well, with Madrid, and ahead of the World Cup. He would have loved to be here, where he spent so much time. It’s a shame. I am sure that he can contribute a lot to Madrid. I continue to trust », he closed it.

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