Atletico Madrid fans desecrated a memorial plaque for Courtois outside the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on Sunday. The plaque was graffiti-sprayed, including the Spanish word “Rata,” which means “rat”. Fans also poured beer over the plaque. Security took down the plaque after the vandalism. Hopefully the fans learned from their actions.
Impact Courtois was held out of the starting XI in Sunday’s derby. The Belgium goalkeeper has been in the country 34 times, scoring 29 goals and making 90 saves. However, he has not been in his best form this season. He has managed 15 clean sheets this season, making him one of the best options in the world. Manchester City will be a difficult opponent for Courtois in the semifinals.
Courtois has been an integral part of Atletico Madrid’s team for the past two years. He holds the club record of 820 minutes played without conceding a goal, which is a new club record. Moreover, he has also played in two UEFA Super Cup finals, winning one against his parent club Chelsea and one against Atletico. Ultimately, this has helped Atletico to win La Liga for the first time since 1996.
Courtois’s impressive performance against Barcelona in the quarter-finals was just one of the reasons he could face Chelsea in the semis. Chelsea, meanwhile, reached the semi-finals of the Champions League after a comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain. Whether Courtois can play against his parent club is a matter of debate but he will certainly be a tough opponent.
A controversial decision surrounded the signing of Courtois. Real Madrid had already signed Keylor Navas and the move to sign another keeper seemed unnecessary. Cristiano Ronaldo left the club, so it seemed incongruous to sign a new keeper. Courtois was however signed for a bargain. Moreover, the club had an already established relationship with Atletico Madrid, so fans smashed empty beer cans on Courtois’ plaque. Another controversy is the ‘kangaroo chant, which led to the team’s defeat against Ajax.
Thibaut Courtois was once a Chelsea loan player. During his time at the Spanish giants, Courtois won the Copa del Rey, the Europa League, and the European Super Cup. Atletico Madrid fans repeatedly mocked Courtois’s former club and vandalized a plaque he had erected outside the Wanda Metropolitano. Although it is controversial, one thing is certain: Courtois will be in fury when he gets the ball.