MADRID, 15 One. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has assured that the team is “very hungry” for titles after not winning “none last year, something that they can correct this Sunday in the final of the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Club, and has stressed that the white team does not play “only on the counterattack”, but does “everything”.
“I don’t think we’re a team that plays on the counterattack, we’re a team that does everything. When we’re asked to have possession, we do it; when we’re asked to defend more, too. Many times it depends on the match and the rival. a team that plays a lot from behind, and there are games like the other day, in which you win and defend a little more”, he declared at a press conference.
In addition, he assured that “if you have quality up front with very fast players like Vini, Rodrygo, Asensio or Karim it is normal that you can do damage on the counterattack”. “Each team plays its strong side and we know how to do everything. We can attack when we have to attack and defend when we have to defend,” he said.
Regarding the duel, he highlighted its importance and the possibility of achieving a new title. “It’s another final, we have a lot of players who have played a lot and that experience helps us win that game. We’re facing a team that played three finals last year and it’s going to be difficult. With the mentality we have, we hope to win”, pointed.
In this sense, he stressed the need to be attentive to set pieces. “The set piece is something fundamental in football today. You can have a corner or a free kick out of nowhere and score a goal. This year we have changed a bit the way we position ourselves in corners and free kicks and we have to adapt every day. There are other teams that do very well. In the home game we suffered some set pieces from them, but in San Mamés we defended very well. We know that tomorrow we have to be very focused and very strong defensively not to concede,” he insisted.
The Belgian goalkeeper also joked about the coincidence that the calendar has paired them with Athletic Club three times in one month. “It’s a bit like the NBA, we’ve played each other many times. You know a little how they play, but each game is different and tomorrow could be a very different game than the two we’ve played against them,” he said.
He also agreed with Carlo Ancelotti on the idea that it is not necessary to motivate the group before a final. “We know that tomorrow before the game the coach is going to motivate us a lot in the talk at the stadium. Everyone knows that we played in a final, we want to win it and we don’t need to motivate ourselves. We know that we played for a trophy, last year we couldn’t win none and we are very hungry to win. The coach has to be someone who leads his team well and who motivates you to win, and that is what the coach does,” he said.
About Vinícius, he acknowledged that from the first day he arrived to today “obviously he has improved.” “He is a young boy, a talent, and he is improving with confidence, he just needed to find the goal and be free mentally. Maybe talk to Karim… He is a talent and this year he is plugging in. He helps us a lot and the whole team is delighted with him,” he said.
Regarding his compatriot Eden Hazard, he assured that “he continues to work and train well”, despite the fact that in the semifinals he did not have the confidence of the Madrid coach. “These are not easy decisions for the coach, Vini occupies one side and there are many players for the other position. Eden showed at the end of the year that he is there, that he is one of the team and wants to help win. If tomorrow he has to play , will give 100%”, he ventured.
In another order of things, he did not want to confess with which central pair he has felt more comfortable, if with Sergio Ramos-Raphaël Varane or Éder Militao-David Alaba. “I’m comfortable with the four of them. Rapha and Sergio are Real Madrid legends, they’ve won everything and they’re cracks. Now they’re not with us and we have a great couple, Mili, Nacho, Alaba play… This year we’re following that line of conceding little and defending well and this at ease. It shows on the field”, he stressed.
Finally, Courtois thanked Athletic Club goalkeeper Unai Simón for his praise, who assured that Courtois was not valued enough. “When I saw his words last month, I was happy that someone who knows about goalkeeping said that. In the club and in the fans I know that they value me a lot and the work I do to help the team win, maybe it was less. It’s nice that he says that, he’s a great goalkeeper. Tomorrow will also be a goalkeeper duel”, he expressed.
“The game that changed me the most was the Galatasaray away game, we won 0-1 and I made several good saves in the first half. Then I had a very good run. Winning a title with a great game and a clean sheet and saving a penalty in the batch is always more striking, but last year I also played a great season without winning titles. That makes people forget your season a bit. This year I hope to continue in that line but with trophies at the end, “he concluded.