The Belgian goalkeeper spoke to the press after the match and was keen to highlight the fact that Barcelona had come back to preseason training a week earlier than Real Madrid.
“Obviously you cannot make many conclusions. Some have been training for two weeks and others, only one. The most important thing was to pick up rhythm, start with a good intensity, that wasn’t there in other years. Given it was the first match, it went well. The only thing was, we didn’t score a goal and they scored a golazo: ours hit the post and theirs went in the top corner.”
Raphinha’s strike beat Courtois all ends up, while Fede Valverde was responsible for Los Blancos’ best effort. Courtois made the comments to Sport and even if he wasn’t worried by the result, he did admit that Real Madrid are somewhat reliant on Karim Benzema.
“We have won a league and Champions League with this team and we have faith, but if Karim is not there then we are lacking a bit in front of goal or in the creation of danger. It is the first match, there’s no reason to come to any conclusions. In the [European] Super Cup, yes then we have to all be ready for it.”
Carlo Ancelotti has maintained that Real Madrid will not be bringing anyone else in, but the idea of another back-up for Benzema remains the biggest question mark over their squad. Currently Real Madrid have Borja Mayoral, Mariano Diaz, youngster Juanmi Latasa and potentially Eden Hazard to play up front. Hazard started in a false nine role in El Clasico, although like the others, he is yet to truly convince as an alternative to Benzema.