Gabi unhappy with ‘strange’ Courtois Real move


Thibaut Courtois might have been excited to finally make a dream move to Real Madrid this summer but his switch from London to Madrid has not pleased everyone.

Courtois spent three years on loan at rivals Atletico Madrid during the formative stages of his goalkeeping career before returning to Chelsea to become the club’s first-choice goalkeeper.

At Chelsea, the Belgium goalkeeper went on to establish himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the English Premier League ending the 2016-2017 season on an individual high as he claimed the division’s best goalkeeper award.

Courtois’ form at Chelsea did not go unnoticed however earning a dream €35 million (£31m/$40m) return to the Spanish capital but this time on the white-half of Madrid.

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The 26-year old already skipped training sessions upon his return to Chelsea from post-World Cup break in a bid to force through the transfer and was left excited after the move was completed allowing him reunite with his young family in Madrid.

Courtois’ reason for joy is however not shared by everyone – Chelsea were keen to keep the proven performer and will be unhappy he left in controversial circumstances after seven years.

Meanwhile, a legendary figure in a part of Madrid and ex-Atletico Madrid skipper, Gabi is disappointed the Belgian goalkeeper signed with rivals Real and spoke fondly about the Blancos.

The former Atletico Madrid skipper, who now plays in the Qatar Stars League with Al Sadd told AS: “It hurts.

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“He has played with you, won trophies, it’s a strange one. That’s it, more than it hurts – it’s strange.”

While the ex-Rojiblancos midfielder expressed surprise at Courtois’ move to the Santiago Bernabeu, he spoke of being confident that Atletico would be able to keep captain Diego Godin despite late interest from Manchester United.

“I prefer to value what we have at home, those who really love this team – Koke, Saul [Niguez], Juanfran, Godin,” added Gabi.

“Godin is indispensable. He cannot leave, and he doesn’t want to.

“I’ve spoken with him. These offers – United, Juve – exist. I am sure he and Atletico will work it out in the end. Diego is a leader, the ideal captain.”

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Gabi also believes that Antoine Griezmann made the right decision in favouring a stay with Atletico over making a switch to the Camp Nou.

He said: “I had doubts, it was confusing.

“He told me: ‘Capi, I’m staying.’ But then I saw [Gerard] Pique, who said: ‘He’s told us he’s coming’.

“In the end he made the right decision, said no to Barca and stayed. He knows there is nowhere better than Atleti.”