The Belgium international goalkeeper left Stamford Bridge for Santiago Bernabeu in 2018, but is now preparing for a return to west London
Thibaut Courtois is looking forward to being reunited with Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, despite the Real Madrid goalkeeper admitting that his departure from Stamford Bridge “wasn’t in the best way”.
In the summer of 2018, having previously spent time on loan in Spain with Atletico Madrid, the Belgium international goalkeeper made it clear that he wanted out of west London.
His wish was eventually granted, but Courtois will be heading back to familiar surroundings this season after helping Real past Premier League title holders Liverpool and into a last-four clash with Chelsea.
What has been said?
Courtois told beIN Sports of lining up against the club where he won four trophies: “It will be very nice to see a lot of familiar faces and I wish there was public at Stamford Bridge because there was a lot of happy moments I had there.
“Even though maybe my departure wasn’t in the best way, or it was put that way, that it wasn’t the best way, I only have good memories. Two Premier Leagues, a lot of other trophies – I’m really happy to play them, but only one can be in the final and I hope it’s Real Madrid.”
Courtois’ time at Chelsea
The Blues bought into the potential of a promising shot-stopper during the summer of 2011. He was immediately sent on loan to Atletico and would spend three seasons with the Rojiblancos, winning the Liga title and reaching the Champions League final.
He became No 1 at Chelsea in 2014 and Courtois would go on to make 154 appearances. He helped to land two Premier League titles, while also contributing to FA Cup and League Cup triumphs.
The Blues were reluctant to part with him when Real came calling but, after seeing the offer of a new contract knocked back, were left with little choice.
A £35 million ($48m) deal was put in place and Courtois has gone on to play 119 times for Los Blancos, helping them to a Liga crown and Club World Cup glory.
The Belgian will now be returning to Stamford Bridge on May 5, with the first leg of a heavyweight semi-final showdown taking place in the Spanish capital on April 27.