It’s raining opinions and analysis after the exciting interview with Thibaut Courtois (31) yesterday in Sportza, but how are they viewing this issue in Spain? A follower of Real Madrid newspaper The Athletic paints a clear picture: “We find it strange not to respect him.”
Thibaut Courtois has dominated Belgian news sites since yesterday afternoon. In Spain, people were not shocked by his decision to participate in the European Championship next summer.
“There were already rumours,” Mario Cortegana, a Real Madrid follower for The Athletic, tells our editors. “The news has been received positively by Real Madrid fans.”
Cortegana repeatedly stressed during the conversation how popular Courtois is in the Spanish capital. He added: “He always gives everything he has for Real Madrid, even if it is sometimes at the expense of the Red Devils.”
“It was different with Eden Hazard,” the journalist compares. “I remember when Courtois came back after a spell with the national team and Hazard stayed with the team a little longer.”
He added: “It is unfortunate that he will miss the European Championship, but it also makes sense to me if you look at the timing and the calendar.”
“He is not expected to be ready to play again until May at the earliest. Then playing in the European Championship does not seem to me to be the best option. Also, Real Madrid will not want to take any risks. It is a sensible decision.”
Interview with the press and fans
In addition to the physical aspect, there is of course something else going on: a personal dispute with national coach Domenico Tedesco.
“The national coach did not act correctly,” the Real Madrid follower takes a clear position. “We find it strange – and this is how we feel – that he is not respected.”
“At Real Madrid, Thibaut has always been a leader in the dressing room, even without this association. Everyone – staff, teammates, fans, board and media – highly appreciates him for his behaviour.”
“If Real Madrid loses, Thibaut will explain it to the press and engage in dialogue with the fans. He has great respect here.”
“The Bernabeu has sung his name in the last two matches. He is the only injured player who can say that. This means a lot.”
Bernabeu sang his name in the last two matches. He’s the only injured player who can say that. This means a lot.
Mario Cortegana (The Athletic) on Thibaut Courtois
Courtois says he feels unappreciated, but the captain’s issue dominated the interview.
“At Real Madrid he doesn’t need this association. He behaves like a leader. He is clear, respectful and tells the same story in the dressing room as he does to the press.”
Cortegana has doubts about whether things will go well between Courtois and the Devils. “I’d be surprised.”
“I have followed the Belgian national team a lot and I know that the atmosphere is not ideal.”
He added: “Given his age and physical problems, I would not be surprised if he plays his last match for Belgium.”
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