He finally has some fans behind him. Tomorrow will be Thibaut Courtois’ first public match in 15 months. “Fun. But playing in Brussels would have been more fun,” winked the goalkeeper.
It kind of feels like the first day of school. Thibaut Courtois is keen to start the European Championship. Especially since there will be an audience. The goalkeeper laughed at Robin van Gucht: “I’ve been playing with the fans again since March 2020”.
“Fun. Although mainly Russian fans will be. It was even more fun to play in a new stadium in Brussels.”
Even better than in the World Cup
The Belgians played their last European Championship match against Wales 5 years ago. “But this is not revenge,” Thibaut Courtois began at the press conference. “This is a new tournament and we want to go as far as possible.”
“If winning the European Championship is necessary? This is a team that wants to win. So of course we want to play the final and win, but we can’t look too far ahead. We have to win first tomorrow and then grow in the championship. To get a long title.”
“It is also not clear to win a European championship. There are many good countries. In our head, only the title matters, but it is always possible to clash with a better team.”
I think I’ve come a long way in the last year and a half. My feet in particular played better and had more experience.
“The first game in a tournament is always tough. I don’t know exactly why. You have to survive that. Everyone still plays with handbrake and is especially strong defensively. After that it becomes more open anyway because the teams have to win.”
“It won’t be easy in Russia and Denmark, but I hope it’s the start of a good month. I’m looking forward to playing for the fans again. It gives more excitement. I’m expecting a physical match.”
Courtois was named the best goalkeeper in the World Cup. “I think I’ve come a long way in the last year and a half. My feet in particular have played better and I have more experience. If you’re going through a difficult period, you’re improving too. I feel good and I want Real Madrid’s performance to continue. But individual trophies are never the goal.”