Valverde: “Courtois has been a fundamental player for Real Madrid in many games”


The Athletic Club coach, Ernesto Valverde, commented this Friday that the loss of Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois may weigh on Real Madrid, since he has been “a fundamental player” for the Merengue team “in many games”, and he also highlighted the start of “a new stage” with “young players” and “very physically strong” in the ranks of his imminent rival in LaLiga EA Sports.

“Courtois has been a fundamental player for Real Madrid in many games. Last year, in the two games we played with them, he was decisive. Also, Benzema will not be there either, who we have suffered a lot over time. But hey, I suppose that those who play for them won’t be bad either. A new stage begins with other young players, very physically strong, who we have to stand up to equally”, he commented.

“I have seen them very well in attack because they have generated danger and chances. In defense I have also seen them well, because it seems to me that they have very strong players, with very powerful center-backs and full-backs,” said the coach of the ‘lions’ in circles of the press about the change of scheme of the white team. Despite this, he believes that they need time for Carlo Ancelotti’s pupils to manage to “match certain movements”.

Regarding the state of his team for this matchday 1, the rojiblanco coach lamented his “a bit atypical” pre-season due to the trip he made to Mexico, in addition to the fact that the additions of some players have arrived later due to international commitments. “We come from playing strong games against Eibar, Celtic or Manchester United and that has helped us to be prepared,” he added.

A start to the League that starts with difficult commitments for Athletic, Real Madrid at home and a visit to El Sadar, and to which Valverde attaches great importance: “The start marks what will be that first entry in the competition, in addition to the drag a deficit, if you’re doing badly, or a surplus, if you do it well. Our intention is to do it well to catch a good wave that allows us to continue forward”, he stated.

However, for the first league game in San Mamés, Athletic will not have animation directed by the stands, because the rojiblanco entertainment sector has decided not to do it against Real Madrid as a protest against some decisions made by the address of the club. A support that for the rojiblanco coach is “differential both for the rival and for the team”, since the players are in a field that “is constantly boiling cheering you on”.

Finally, Valverde has referred to the tackle made by Dani Carvajal to Yuri Berchiche in the last league game last season that caused the Basque’s fibula to break. “Obviously we don’t think that Carvajal wants to injure Yuri, but it is a fact that Carvajal gets a yellow card and Yuri a broken fibula, and Carvajal is going to play tomorrow and Yuri is injured,” he concluded.