Thibaut Courtois has sympathy for Real Madrid teammate Keylor Navas

Thibaut Courtois insists he enjoys a ‘great working relationship’ with Keylor Navas but a lack of playing time ‘will not be easy’ for the Costa Rican.

The Costa Rican was excluded from the starting XI of Los Blancos for the recent Champions League defeat against CSKA Moscow, with summer signing Courtois again preferred.

The former Chelsea shot-stopper is now the undisputed number one both in La Liga and in Europe for Santiago Solari’s side, with Navas limited solely to Copa Del Rey appearances.

“We have a lot of mutual respect for each other and a great working relationship,” Courtois is cited as saying by Marca.

“We are talking about a player who has won three Champions League titles and I’m sure for him it is not easy to be on the bench.

“As footballers we all know that we must work hard and that if we do not then we will not have our spot in the league.

“For a goalkeeper it is beneficial to be playing multiple times a week and if you are not then I am sure it is frustrating, but it is the Coach who makes the decisions.

“I have felt happy here since my first day.”

The former Levante goalkeeper was highly rated by Zinedine Zidane while Julen Lopetegui played him in European competition but under Solari he has fallen further from prominence.

Navas was Madrid first choice goalkeeper in each of Zinedine Zidane’s three seasons at the helm, winning as many Champions Leagues, but the arrival of Courtois has seen him lose his place.

The 31-year-old was set to join Manchester United on the final day of the 2015 summer transfer window, with David de Gea going the other way, but the paperwork did not go through in time.

Tags Thibaut Courtois