Thibaut Courtois says he could never have imagined playing for Real Madrid and says winning the Champions League with the La Liga giants would fulfil a childhood dream.
The Belgian goalkeeper forced through a move from Chelsea to Los Blancos in the summer of 2018. After representing his country at that summer’s World Cup, Courtois failed to report for pre-season training and refused to speak to then-head coach Maurizio Sarri.
A transfer to the Bernabeu was secured in August 2018 and over the past three seasons, Courtois has cemented his spot as Real Madrid’s number one goalkeeper and has produced a series of standout performances this season.
The 28-year-old will return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since leaving Chelsea tomorrow as Real Madrid face off against Thomas Tuchel’s side.
A place in this season’s Champions League final is at stake – the Blues hold a narrow advantage after claiming a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital last week.
Yet in an interview with French broadcaster TF1, Courtois stated he has a belief that Real Madrid can overcome Chelsea tomorrow evening.
“I have confidence in our qualities,” he explained. “We are lucky to be in the semi-finals and small details can change everything.
“Winning a trophy with Belgium and the Champions League with Real Madrid are two childhood dreams which I haven’t accomplished yet. I hope to be able to achieve it as soon as possible.”
The manner of Courtois’ departure from Chelsea did not sit well with the club’s supporters. And once at Madrid, he rubbed salt into the wounds, remarking on the difference in quality in training and speaking publically about his desire for Eden Hazard to join him at the Bernabeu.
Courtois, however, has no regrets about his decision to leave Stamford Bridge despite winning two Premier League titles in his four seasons in the Blues side.
He said: “Sometimes when I drive to the stadium, I say to myself, ‘I did not imagine that I could end up here’. It’s a nice story: someone who grew up in a small village in Belgium ending up at Real Madrid.
“When you sign for Real Madrid, you know the pressure is going to be there. That’s what is the beauty when you win trophies.
“Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world. And it feels it with the pressure from the fans. It is yet another dimension in the world of football. “
Source by Football London