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Despite rivalry, Chelsea's keepers have close relationship

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Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

You might expect two top-level athletes fighting it out for one spot to not like each other very much. Both Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech are among the best in the world at their position, and only one gets to play, a situation which has led to about a billion rumours about one of the two (mostly Cech) leaving the club.

But as it turns out, the relationship is nowhere near as frosty as one might imagine. Here's Courtois talking about what happened following his head injury in the Arsenal match:

Not long after the game had finished, and I was in hospital, Petr tried to call me twice and later he texted me.

We train really well together now, talking a lot about things that can happen in a game. It’s a nice relationship. I understand that, maybe, he’s not happy he doesn’t play a lot and that’s normal. I would be the same. But we get on well. At Atlético, the No2s would not always speak to me. It wasn’t jealousy, more frustration, but it meant we didn’t get on well. That’s a pity because, normally, the goalkeepers are just alone working together. It’s not like that here.

Source: Guardian.

And don't just take Courtois' word for it. Even third choice goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who has no reason to talk up a positive relationship between the pair he currently sits behind, is talking about how well the goalkeeping corps gets along.

Everyone has an enormous amount of respect for each other and everyone works really hard.

We all complement each other well and it is a very good environment. Thibaut has come in and obviously it has been very difficult for Petr but he has been unbelievable with his professionalism and his determination to stay fit and work hard. I take my hat off to him. He has been amazing and when he had to come on against Arsenal he played exceptionally well.

Thibaut came in [to the club] against the background of Petr being such a legend and accomplishing so much here and he had to hit the ground running - and he has. He is an unbelievable goalkeeper and has his whole future ahead of him.

Source: ChelseaFC.com.

I suspect much of this is down to Cech. Courtois is still a young, brash, girlfriend-stealer of a footballer, and some of his quotes regarding the competition at Stamford Bridge have looked at least mildly unhelpful. So it's down to Cech to be the level-headed one and not get into any pissing contests, and it sounds like he's handling the situation with aplomb. Not that we'd expect anything else from Big Pete.