If there was one thing Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wasn’t going to say in interview, it’s that Barcelona deserve to win La Liga.
Much like you wouldn’t hear a Manchester United sole – willingly at least – admit Liverpool should be awarded the Premier League title, Courtois naturally has to talk up the fact that such accolades need to be won on the field.
It’s only fair, right? If Barcelona are the best team in the country, they have to prove that over the duration of a fully completed season, not one that’s been curtailed because the footballing authorities are panicking about next year’s television schedule.
Some would say at least.
Indeed, those appear to the sentiments – kind of – of Courtois too, as the devilishly tall Belgian goalkeeper looks to amuse himself during lockdown. The former Chelsea & Atletico Madrid keeper – yes, he played for Real’s bitter rivals don’t forget – also hasn’t forgotten that Barça struggled against Los Blancos this season, coming up short in their always overly-hyped Clasico clashes.
That’s reason enough in Courtois’ mind not to award the title to the Catalans.
“We are only two points behind Barcelona and if the season were to be cancelled and Barcelona declared champions would be unjust,” Courtois remarked to Belgian TV, via Marca.
“We drew with them and beat them this year, we were the better team. In the case of Liverpool, it would be different because I don’t even know how many points ahead they are.
“I want to finish the season.”
Courtois may end up getting his wish too, with lockdown measures in Spain relaxed over the last few days after two months of severe restrictions. Teams are expected to return to training shortly, but each club will be required to test all players, staff and administrators for Covid-19.
How – and if – the La Liga season will play out remains unclear at this stage, though staging all remaining games being closed games is a certainty.