Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois dares Carlo Ancelotti – ‘I’m the same as before, if not better’

The headlines in the Spanish capital following Real Madrid’s 5-0 win over Alaves were that the debate had been settled – Thibaut Courtois is back in fine shape after his anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus injuries. The Belgian is a strong character, and his performance dared Carlo Ancelotti to do anything but start him in the Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Courtois spoke to the press after the game, declaring that he felt as good as he ever has on the pitch.

“I understand that there are people who may doubt how you come back, but I knew that I was going to come back strong. I know that I am the same Courtois or even better, after working physically to improve. I needed a game like this, with a lot of shots, because there were no big dangerous chances from Cadiz and Granada in the last two games. Today there were many saves, and that’s what I needed, those close, fast shots with reflexes.”

The 32-year-old has watched on as Andriy Lunin won the plaudits throughout their Champions League campaign, but Courtois‘ quality is unquestionable. He will continue working hard in spite of three days off this week.

“I was proud of the save down to my left. What I have done in my recovery is now showing up on the pitch. The team has a few days off, but I will continue training with [Goalkeeping coach Luis] Llopis,” he told Cadena SER.

After the match, Carlo Ancelotti told the press that “Courtois will play one of the remaining league games and Lunin will play the other,” but has generally remained coy on the matter. Before the Alaves clash, he had said that he ‘thinks the same’ as the media, that ‘Lunin has had a fantastic season, but Courtois is the best in the world.’

The stage looks set for Courtois to make his European return in the final against Dortmund, and given the form he has returned in, there is an argument that doing anything else would be giving Real Madrid a lesser chance of winning. Lunin has certainly earned his place in the final, but Courtois is undoubtedly Real Madrid’s starter between the two.

Tags Andriy Lunin Carlo Ancelotti Champions League Real Madrid Thibaut Courtois

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