Thibaut Courtois is no longer welcome at the Wanda Metropolitano. The one who was Atlético de Madrid's goalkeeper for three seasons, in which he became one of the most valued goalkeepers in the world, earned the dislike of his former followers in the run-up to the Champions League final. “Now I will be on the good side of history”, he declared, comments that did not sit well with the red and white fans. Such was the resentment that a series of people ripped off the Belgian's plaque on Monday, which was located on the Paseo de las Leyendas del Atlético, near the stadium, and which commemorated the 154 official matches he played with the entity led by Enrique Cerezo .
This event occurred hours after the president of the organization, Cerezo, responded to the request of some Atlético fans to withdraw recognition from Courtois – they even started a campaign on the Change.org platform. "Well, nothing, take a pick and a shovel and go take it off," replied the leader. Said and done.
The Belgian goalkeeper did not sit idly by. Shortly after hearing the news, he went to his Twitter profile and published a photograph of himself holding the Champions League and the trophy that accredits him as MVP of the final played in Paris. Likewise, he accompanies the image with the message "Hala Madrid" and the label
Thibaut Courtois had already played in a final of the highest European team competition, in 2014. On that occasion, defending Atlético's goal, he saw how his team escaped victory when he had it to touch. Real Madrid, their opponent that night in Lisbon, leveled the score in added time with a header from Sergio Ramos. Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo were in charge of waking the rojiblancos from sleep already in extra time.
When asked about this precedent in the preview of the duel against Liverpool last Saturday, the Belgian limited himself to declaring that now he will be "on the good side of history", words that even the mayor of Madrid criticized him. José Luis Martínez-Almeida, renowned ‘mattress maker’, reminded him that on the “good side of history we are also those of us who cried in Lisbon with you and by your side”.
Courtois made 154 official appearances for Atlético de Madrid between 2011 and 2014, on loan from Chelsea. In that period, the team won four of the eight titles of the Diego Simeone era, including the 2011-12 Europa League and the 2013-14 La Liga.
The goalkeeper was also in the news this Tuesday when it was learned that he left the concentration of the Belgium team due to "medical problems", according to the team on their social networks. Courtois already commented after the Champions League final that he had played the match with pain due to pubalgia and indicated that he would speak with his national coach, Roberto Martínez, and his team to decide what to do with the following commitments with his country, the first of which will be played this Friday, June 3.
"The injury is not so serious that I have to be sidelined, but if I want to be at my best in the World Cup in Qatar in the fall, I have to be able to recover," the goalkeeper told Belgian television VTM.