Former Atletico Madrid midfielder Gabi Fernandez has admitted his discontent over Thibaut Courtois’ “strange” move to Real Madrid.
Speaking to Spanish daily newspaper AS, Gabi Fernandez sounded despondent as he openly criticized Thibaut Courtois’ decision to join Real Madrid.
The former Chelsea superstar played for Atletico Madrid for three-years and his move to the Bernabeu has understandably enraged Los Colchoneros faithful. And as it appears, he has also infuriated Atletico legend Gabi, who was evidently “hurt” and deemed the transfer as a “strange” one – as reported by The Sun.
“It hurts,” he said. “He has played with you, won trophies, it’s a strange one. That’s it, more than it hurts — it’s strange.” – he addressed to AS.
As far as club loyalty is concerned, the 35-year-old midfielder, who now plays for Al-Sadd, is certainly right in deeming Courtois’ move to Real Madrid as unconventional given the keeper’s love for Atleti.
In fact, the Belgian international was one of the fan favourites during his time at the Spanish capital, where he famously helped the European giants reach the final of the 2014 UEFA Champions League – only to be beaten by his current club Real Madrid.
During his three-year spell with Los Rojiblancos, Courtois made 154 appearances during which he has kept 76 clean sheets. A stunning tally when compared to his stats with Chelsea, where he kept only 58 clean sheets in the same number of matches. Thus, depicting the fact that he had he enjoyed the most productive part of his career during his time with Atleti.
Indeed, he was a central figure in Atletico’s La Liga title in 2014 while he also won the Spanish cup in 2013 and Europa League in 2012.
However, as we have come to notice in recent years, the value of club loyalty has experienced a significant drop with now, the focus largely being placed on receiving higher paychecks as well as elevating the popularity of a certain individual. As a result, football has become much more modernized than ever.
And Courtois, in that regard, will allow himself of having both the aforementioned terms with a move to Real Madrid. But more importantly, he can also have a glorious opportunity of landing titles or more precisely, the Champions League, which has so far eluded the Belgian.
However, it remains to be seen whether he will able to replicate his World Cup performances as he looks to eclipse Keylor Navas in this new season.