Thibaut Courtois admits he’s still fond of Chelsea ahead of next week’s Champions League quarter-final


Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said that he is relishing the opportunity to return to Stamford Bridge next week with Real Madrid.

Courtois, who was part of the Real Madrid side knocked out of the Champions League last season by the eventual winners Chelsea, said that the match-up against his former side is going to be ‘very special’.

The Belgian goalkeeper spent seven years in west London after signing from Genk in 2011, although three of those were spent on loan at Real’s city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Having returned from that extended loan spell, he enjoyed four successful years at Stamford Bridge, making 154 appearances and winning a host of trophies including the Premier League in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Speaking on his YouTube channel Thibaut Talks, Courtois said that he hoped Real Madrid could avenge last season’s semi-final defeat.

He said: ‘It’s very special. Last year we already played in the semi-finals and lost, so hopefully, this time, there will be a victory.’

Speaking further about the game on Wednesday, he said that it would be different this year owing to a crowd being in.

‘It will be different because there will be a crowd, and there may be some whistles in protest at my departure, but I hope people remember the beautiful moments of winning two leagues [and] the FA Cup,’ he said.

He went on to add: ‘Chelsea will always be one of my teams because they helped me to become the goalkeeper I am now; they signed me when I was 18 and gave me the opportunity to play for Atletico and then play in the Premier League and win it.

‘I still have friends there, and it’s always a pleasure to play against them. Apologise for my saves? No, it’s been almost four years now, and I defend my club.’

‘Obviously, I have a fondness for Chelsea, and if I see them win a title, I congratulate the people I know, but when they play against me I hope we win,’ he concluded.

Real Madrid will be hoping to replicate their stunning second half comeback against Paris Saint Germain while Thomas Tuchel will be hoping for more of the same from his outfit after they blew away Lille in the round of 16.

Elsewhere, Manchester City face Atletico Madrid while Liverpool take on Benfica and Bayern Munich face Villarreal.