There is only one year left on Thibaut Courtois’ current contract with Chelsea, signed back in 2014 a few months after his arrival from a three-year loan at Atlético Madrid where he established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world despite being only 22 at the time. Since then, his work under the goalposts saw the Blues having enough confidence to move legendary keeper Petr Cech to rivals Arsenal as Courtois became an integral piece to our squad.
However, there has been growing tension from the fans arising from the ensuing contractual negotiations between club and player due to Courtois’ comments on how he misses his children in Madrid and showings that have not put him in the best light. The latest of which yesterday, when he was the one of the main culprits in the individual mistakes that led to Chelsea’s 3-0 loss (and elimination) to Barcelona in the Champions League.
Once again, criticism rained down on the Belgian keeper, with fans and pundits alike remembering how Courtois is demanding top-rate wages and so forth. Luckily he is well aware of people who find pleasure in kicking people who are down and most importantly: he will not pay any mind to them.
“I don’t care what non-Chelsea people say, I know who I should listen to. I know who I don’t have to listen to - those that hope to kill you.”
“There are those that when you are at the top, they just wait for that one little moment to destroy you. But nothing will destroy me. I will continue to work hard.”
“I am hurt over what happened and don’t feel great at all. I’m a winner and I don’t like to lose, especially when it comes from a mistake by me.”
Although neither Courtois nor his defence have been on a good place in recent times, the goalkeeper was still instrumental in our title runs since 2014. As such his services are still appreciated by the fans who follow the club home and away, every where they go.
“The Chelsea fans know I have made a lot of good saves, big saves, to win games in the past. I will work hard again to make big saves in the next game I play - that’s my attitude. I have to learn from the mistakes I made and just move on.”
“I think there were around 4,000 of our supporters in the stadium who had spent their time and money on Chelsea. I want to thank them for coming out and supporting us. We could hear them even though they were sat very high in the ground and stayed behind us, even when we were 2-0 and 3-0 down.”
Now there is no time to dwell on the mistakes made versus Barcelona. At most we need to learn from them, and move onto our missions in the competitions where there is still plenty to fight for.
“We were very unlucky. We were not worse than them in either game, we played well but individual errors cost us last night and in the first game. All four of their goals came from mistakes.”
“We could have scored and were unlucky again by hitting the bar and the post. But that’s football sometimes and we just have to get our heads up and work again.”
-Thibaut Courtois; Source: London Evening Standard
Keep working, keep fighting, keep moving. All mottoes we should have in our minds as the seasons winds down on games that could have big repercussions in the present and the future.