Thibaut Courtois has never been one to shy away from the camera or the media. The Belgian shot-stopper has been one of Real Madrid’s regular faces in the post-match player interviews this season and his insights provide an accurate and unbiased review of the game.
After Real Madrid’s 4-0 demolition at the Etihad last night, not many players in white would have had the heart to face any media or entertain questions. After all, it is not easy to entertain questions after an embarrassment of such a degree.
According to reports from AS (h/t Madrid Xtra), Courtois was not the chosen one to speak to the press after last night’s defeat. Yet, he insisted that he wanted to do so and spoke in great detail with the media about the team’s poor showing on the night.
There was not much to celebrate for Real Madrid last night as they were taken to the cleaners by a Pep Guardiola masterpiece. If there was one silver lining, however, it was Courtois’ unbelievable showing in between the sticks.
Though the Belgian was beaten four times on the night, he saved Real Madrid’s blushes on multiple occasions. In fact, he was the only reason the scoreboard did not embarrass the Merengues any further.
He single-handedly denied Erling Haaland at least three clear goal-scoring opportunities on the night, all of which came from point-blank range. He made four saves on the night including three from inside the box.
Reports earlier in the day stated that Courtois in fact played the entire game against Manchester City while nursing a triceps injury.
The setback did not affect his performance on the night but Carlo Ancelotti would prefer to tread a safe path when dealing with a player so fundamental to his plans.
It remains to be seen in Courtois starts in goal for Real Madrid’s clash against Valencia this weekend. Considering that nothing rides on the result, it is likely that Andriy Lunin received a rare start.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.