Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu this Thursday. Courtois was visibly excited about the opportunity he will have at Real Madrid and even mentioned that he has always been a supporter of the club.
“A club like Real Madrid take notice of you if you’re playing well. I received a lot of offers, some better from a financial point of view, but I wanted to come here, and importantly, be close to my children. When there was a firm offer on the table, I was in no doubt. My goal was to come to Real Madrid, everyone knew that,” said Courtois when asked about interest from other clubs.
“As a kid, there’s always one club that stands out for you. In my case, I had immense admiration for Casillas, who was very young and took on a huge challenge. I had Iker’s shirt, and when I was ten I went to watch an Anderlecht-Real Madrid match. When I saw Iker, I was amazed that an 18-year-old goalkeeper playing at the Santiago Bernabéu could display that kind of mental strength,” explained the goalkeeper.
Courtois will be competing with Keylor Navas for a spot in the starting lineup but showed huge respect for what the Costa Rican keeper has done in Madrid.
“I’ve met Keylor, we’ve had a little chat. From what people have told me, he’s a really great guy, and from a professional point of view, I consider him a fantastic goalkeeper as well. I come in with absolute respect and to compete at the top level. Nobody has to give you guarantees that you’re going to start. First things first, you have to show you deserve it in training. No team I’ve ever been at has made me such guarantees. I’d like to say Real Madrid have the best rear-guard in the world. I think I’m a great goalkeeper, as are Keylor, Casilla and Luca. The position is well covered,” explained Courtois.
Real Madrid will face Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup Final next Wednesday and Courtois knows that it could be too early for him to start given that he has not joined the squad in training.
“The coach will decide if I play in the Super Cup. There isn’t long to go, but if I have to play, I’m ready. I feel great, we’ll have to wait and see. It’ll be a beautiful game and I have the utmost respect for Atlético. I had a wonderful time there and now I’m thrilled to be starting out at Real Madrid, which, as of today, is my club and my home,” concluded the goalkeeper.