Thibaut Courtois hopes Chelsea fans don’t boo him on return to Stamford Bridge

Thibaut Courtois will return to Stamford Bridge with Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois has said that he hopes to have a “happy return” to Stamford Bridge with Real Madrid, but admits that Chelsea fans may boo him.

Courtois departed Chelsea for the Spanish capital in 2018 after making his desire to leave the club clear and failing to turn up for training.

His agent later stated that this was due to the Belgian’s desire to be close to his family, having previously played in Madrid for Atletico while on loan from the London club.

With Chelsea drawn to face Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Courtois is set to return to west London in Wednesday’s first leg.

The two sides met behind closed doors last year but this will mark the first time that the Belgian goalkeeper has played in front of Chelsea supporters since his messy exit from the club – and Courtois is aware of the reception he may receive.

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“I hope that they [supporters] don’t boo me, but you never know,” Courtois said ahead of the tie.

“I hope it’s a happy return to Stamford Bridge. 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 left Chelsea soon after being awarded the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper at the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

He has since won the 2019-20 La Liga title with Real Madrid, and signed a new, extended deal last summer that runs until 2026.

Courtois still feels “lucky” to be at the club.

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The 29-year-old explained: “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?’

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

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