Noted Courtois-to-Real Madrid story-pushers Cadena SER’s El Larguero interviewed Thibaut Courtois after last night’s 1-1 draw against Barcelona, and of course they could not pass up the opportunity to ask the Chelsea goalkeeper about the persistent Real Madrid rumors that, in large part, they themselves have continued to create all along.
Courtois, en @ElLarguero: "Siempre he tenido mucho cariño a la gente de Madrid y a los aficionados de España. Algún día igual se puede volver a Madrid, tengo a dos hijos allí" ➡https://t.co/t9jO0ywSvv pic.twitter.com/GP3EpR8kx3— El Larguero (@ellarguero) February 20, 2018
While the majority of the three-minute interview was spent on talking about the game — Courtois echoing others’ answers in crediting Chelsea with some stellar play but one unfortunate mistake, while also talking about drawing confidence from this result ahead of the tough games coming up away from home (Man Utd, Man City, Barcelona) — the final question about whether he’ll be returning to Madrid (a city which “misses him”) is obviously what’s making the headlines even though Courtois said the same exact thing he said last time. And the time before that. And the time before that. And...
Someday maybe. It’s like I told you, I have two children there and that’s hard, missing them, while I’m away. [But] I’m fine at Chelsea. We’re talking about a renewal here and we will see how that goes.
-Thibaut Courtois; source: Cadena SER
Courtois wasn’t done with Spanish radio row, with Cadena COPE’s El Partizado also nabbing him for a post-match interview. The script was just about the same as the Cadena SER’s effort.
The version of the Madrid question was asked in a more specific fashion here, with Juanma Castaño bringing up Courtois’s “heart in Madrid” quotes (i.e. his two children living there with their mother). These quotes have already been picked up by the Star, Express, and so on, and like most Courtois quotes, are already causing plenty of consternation.
As ever, it’s the same thing that he’s been saying for a while now and will undoubtedly continue to say until the new Chelsea contract is finalized and signed. (That’s supposed to happen this month, as per last update.)
“My future is not yet clear but the phrase that my heart is in Madrid was misunderstood. It’s not easy to be away from my children, who are in Madrid.
“I have one year left and I’m talking to be able to renew with Chelsea. They have bet on me since the first day of my career.”
-Thibaut Courtois; source: Cadena COPE
And all this while the interviewer and his cohorts are literally barracking him and imploring him to not renew and go back to Madrid. It’s ridiculously unprofessional and is worth a listen just for that part (it’s around the 2:30-mark).
Castaño then asks Courtois if he’d listen if Florentino Perez called him, which Courtois flatly denies since that’s not how transfers work (“he would not call me”). Castaño realizes his error, changes the question to whether Courtois’s representative would listen, which Courtois laughs off (well yeah, that’s the agent’s job) before finishing with “I’m only thinking about Chelsea at the moment”.
So there you go, just another fun day in the rumor mill.
Having said all that, it would be hard to blame Courtois for wanting to reunite with his family. But it’s just as easy to question his loyalty to us. His family situation is semi-complicated, and at the end of the day, none of our business. For us, Chelsea is all that matters. For him, like most players, it’s a job.
From that professional point of view, the timing and nature of the quotes will also likely be questioned, but as mentioned above, he’s not saying anything new or different than before and if he had just said “no comment”, the rumors would explode even more.
It is up to us to keep a cool and rational head and don’t give in to the sensationalism of the rumor mill.