Thibaut Courtois has explained his motivations for agreeing with Chelsea to spend a third consecutive season on loan with Atletico Madrid.
The 21-year-old is at the Vicente Calderon once more this term on a temporary contract from his London owners, even as they tried to convince him to return to Stamford Bridge.
For the goalkeeper, though, competing with Petr Cech for the No 1 jersey was a risk that he felt could have cost him his spot in the Belgian national side.
“The club and Jose Mourinho wanted me back for this season. They also considered the option of sending me out to a team in the Premier League,” Courtois has told reporters today.
“But I was not interested in this option, I feel good in Madrid and wanted to play in the Champions League with Atletico.
“I was not been afraid of fighting for a spot with Petr Cech. I have no fear of anyone. I believe in my qualities and I know that Mourinho selects teams not just on a player’s status.
“The proof is that he left Casillas on the bench at Real Madrid because he believed that Diego Lopez was training better.
“Going to Chelsea was heads or tails. I could have gone and it may have worked out perfectly, but then again I may not have been playing and could have risked losing my starting place with the national team. It would have been a risk for the World Cup.
“Next year? I can afford to take more risks. But for now, the important thing for me as a young player is to reach a higher level.”