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Chelsea fans warned of conduct by Thibaut Courtois


Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has warned Blues fans ahead of the Blues’ Champions League clash with Real Madrid

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has urged Chelsea fans not to boo him when he returns to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Courtois spent seven years with the west Londoners before completing a transfer to Madrid in 2018 – and has conceded that he does not expect a warm welcome.

The two teams meet in the quarter-final of the Champions League, with the first leg to be played at Chelsea this week. It is a repeat of last season’s semi-final tie, which Thomas Tuchel’s side won 3-1 on aggregate on their way to winning the tournament.

Madrid and Courtois will therefore hope for revenge over the Belgian’s former club. Courtois is not expecting a great reception from his former fans having departed acrimoniously in 2018, but hopes they will not boo.

“”I hope that they (supporters) don’t boo me, but you never know. I hope it’s a happy return to Stamford Bridge,”” the former Genk star, who played 154 games for Chelsea, said.

“We’re now rivals. They’ll want to win and the same goes for me. So I’m not expecting any applause from the fans.

Courtois joined Chelsea in 2011 but spent his first three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid. Jose Mourinho then opted to make the shot-stopper his first-choice at the beginning of the 2014-15 season. 

He won two Premier League titles in West London but pushed for a departure in the summer 0f 2018 after learning of interest from Madrid. A £35million deal was struck to allow the player to leave, which was a relatively small fee considering some figures spent on goalkeepers of a similar quality.

Having won a Club World Cup and a La Liga title with Los Blancos, Courtois has no regrets over forcing a transfer. “When I get to the training centre and look at the logo, sometimes I think — “You have to pinch me, that’s not a dream, is it?” he said. 

“”Even in my dreams, I never imagined that I would play for Real Madrid one day. I am so lucky.”

Chelsea suffered a shock 4-1 hammering by Brentford on Saturday. Reece James, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Romelu Lukaku were all substitutes for the Premier League clash but Tuchel has insisted that they were not being rested for the club’s Champions League fixture. 

When quizzed on his team selection, the German said: “”No, absolutely not [thinking about Madrid]. We selected the team because we thought it was the best team against Brentford. Not half an eye or one per cent of one for Real Madrid.””

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