19:57pm, September 8th, 2018
Thibaut Courtois says Chelsea fans “don’t know all the truth” regarding his acrimonious £35million move to Real Madrid this summer.
The Belgian earned the ire of Blues fans after failing to report for pre-season training, which was viewed as an attempt to force through a transfer.
“It makes me feel sad. Obviously they don’t know all the truth,” he told reporters after Belgium’s 4-0 win over Scotland on Friday.
Courtois alluded to the fact that he had decided to reject Chelsea’s contract offer back in March, and thus expected the club to work quickly to secure a transfer that would give them good value for their player.
“I think in March the decision was already made and I thought the club would accept it,” said the 26-year-old.
“Then because the transfer was close I didn’t show up [to training] because I thought it was better not to disturb the squad. I didn’t want it to be toxic.
“Obviously it’s a pity because I love Chelsea. I loved playing there.”
Courtois’ decision to kiss the Real Madrid badge when he was unveiled at his new club also incensed Chelsea fans, as did his comments earlier this week when he praised the “higher level” of Madrid training.
However, he issued a clarification regarding the latter statement, saying it was not intended as a swipe at the Premier League club.
“I never meant that. I just said that maybe in training it goes a little bit faster,” he said.
“But that’s also the quality of Real Madrid, that’s not saying Chelsea doesn’t have quality. I always give back a happy feeling to Chelsea.”
Despite some of the flak he’s copped, Courtois remains content with his decision to leave the Blues, and wishes his old club well.
“I had a chance to go back to Spain to be closer to my kids and that was important to me.
“I know a lot of Chelsea fans will understand my decision and I wish them the best. I am happy they have won the first four games and I hope they go on and win the league.”
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