The Belgian crown in Jeddah before his former team a few months of remarkable growth. The good relationship with Areola, key in its improvement
The hero of the final: “I have no other, I'm sorry”
Ramos finishes the Atletico on penalties and rescues another title for Real Madrid
On the eve of the Super Cup final, Florentino Prez went to Real Madrid training, in the small stadium of Ittihad, a club in Jeddah. He had landed hours earlier surprised by the temperature, lower than expected. Not recommended for the constipate that dragged. On the suit and tie, a sporting feathers were placed that were left by the team's employees. In a small room with the journalists present, someone values him Jan Oblak's level, a recent exhibition of the Atletico goalkeeper in the semifinal against Barcelona. The best in the world, unbeatable, imposing … The deserved praise flows. Well, ours is not bad either, don't forget it, the white president commented intentionally. On Sunday night, after the decisive role of Thibaut Courtois against the rojiblancos, Florentino was guiding eyes in the mixed area of the King Abdullah stadium, remembering his aim of the previous day.
In this Madrid without a sper star and who traveled to Saudi Arabia dry of front strikers (Benzema, Hazard, Bale and Asensio), the merits of the conquest of the first title of the season are distributed. There was to put the headline. If Simeone, the rival technician, looked at Fede Valverde for that winning red card and the photographers were looking for Sergio Ramos, author of the last penalty, the bulk of the locker room hugged his goalkeeper. In fact, the first to do so, in the celebration stage after the goal of the captain, was Areola, the substitute goalkeeper. The heartfelt congratulation he gave to his partner (and rival for the position) illustrates the good feeling of the two since the beginning of the season. In the penalty stopped by the Belgian Thomas had many hours of work of both in Valdebebas, under the supervision of coach Roberto Vzquez.
Already during the match, Courtois was a wall for the Atlantic. Safe from above, fast from below and taking out hands with reflections. He even dared, in the end, to say that in Morata's ride, the one that aborted in Valverde red, there was l; that maybe he would have had time to go out to clear the ball. The television repetition questions such an optimistic point of view, although its euphoria was logical. So happy I was that he didn't hesitate to comment on any of his interventions. It was a paradn, affirmed about the penalty that stopped midfielder ghans. The bomb was justified.
In the fight for Zamora
His prominence in the Spanish Super Cup crowns months of growth, after the doubts accumulated in his first season and the start of the current one. Do not make rude mistakes, but it left the feeling a few afternoons of not being the determining goal that was in the Chelsea or the Atlantic. Nor the one of the selection of Belgium, that piece that saves and wins matches, such as Ter Stegen in Bara or Oblak himself in the red and white box.
In Vigo, for example, in the first League match, he signed a spectacular intervention, in a header, but then in the fan's retina his images fell in defeats like the PSG. He looked like one more goalkeeper and was not, of course, for that for which he had been signed. The post Casillas hangover, the frustrated stories with De Gea and Kepa, tensions with Keylor Navas… The club hoped that with the arrival of Courtois the constant noise that the white goalkeeper had been generating for years, from the stage of Jos Mourinho, would end once and for all.
It was in the past when things began to change. Better the spiky keeper and at the same time Madrid, stronger line by line, especially behind. Close the team, with zero markers and rarely allowing the opponent. And the Courtois began to appear that remembered to see the Bernabu in the summaries of the English league or in the Blgica matches. His good numbers (nine goals in 16 games) he has been placed in the fight for the Zamora trophy, now matched with Oblak. Since 2008 (Casillas), a madridista does not win the prize for the least scored goalkeeper in the League.
Friendly to his companions, joker, in love with the capital's rhythm of life … the Belgian had been wishing to return to Spain for years. The Atletico came to probe him to recover him, fearing the march of Oblak, but in the end Madrid bet for him. He soon imagined, for his experience in the city, what awaited him in each of his visits to the red and white stadium. Wanda's welcome was a shower of insults and stuffed rats. Therefore, it is easy to imagine their feelings after defeating the Simeone team in Jeddah. Interestingly, he shares a communication agency with two other athletes who also have very angry at his former hobbies: Griezmann and Mirotic.
According to the criteria of