‘Confident’ Courtois gives insight into life at Chelsea

Date published: Tuesday 24th January 2017 9:52

Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois says he is the happiest he has ever been at Stamford Bridge amid talk of a move to Real Madrid.

The Belgian stopper has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid with reports claiming the La Liga giants have opened proccedings to try and lure the 24-year-old away from the capital.

The Spanish club also faxed a goodwill letter to the keeper in September while he was injured.

“Real Madrid showed me a very nice gesture when I injured my knee last year – they sent me a fax to wish me a speedy recovery,” Courtois told Marca.

There have also been reports in The Sun that Courtois will run down his contract, which expires in 2018, in order to force through a move to Real.

Now though the former Atletico star has spoken of his happiness at the club under new boss Antonio Conte and new keeper coach Gianluca Spinelli.

Courtois said: “I have never felt so good since I arrived in Chelsea. On the field, I am good, I make the decisive stops when it is necessary.

“Sometimes I have just one or two to do. Against Hull, it was a little more at the weekend.

“But otherwise, I try to always be ready to help the team. My game has also improved a lot in the last two seasons. I sometimes have a few moments that are very difficult to manage but I’m doing well. I feel very confident right now.

“I like that we are asked to attack the ball and go forwards in any circumstances. There’s a good atmosphere in the group. Lots of jokes and banter but we work hard and we enjoy it.”

Courtois has hailed the impact of former Juventus coach Conte, whilst also admitting a change in mentality has paid dividends this season.

“Of course he changed stuff. But it is hard to say that it is only thanks to the coach. Players have also changed their mentality.

“Last season, we may have started the championship in a way too relaxed.

“We were champions and maybe we were too quiet. It cost us points, we started losing matches and a negative atmosphere settled without us being able to get out.

“This year, after the defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, with the players, we said that we had to give more to not relive the same season.

“And the system change also played. We’re hungry to win. The difference with the other teams also comes from the fact that we win against the smaller opponents, which is not necessarily the case of Liverpool for example, ” added Courtois.

Meanwhile, Courtois rejected the idea of a big-money move to China.

“Some players are more concentrated on what they will do after their football career and want to make sure their lives are financially settled. I prefer to play in big teams earn a little less money and win trophies,” he added.

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