Champions League qualification is the priority, says Atletico's Courtois

The young Belgian admits that winning La Liga would be great, but qualifying for Europe's elite club competition is the first step for his side to have a successful campaign
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wants his team to keep their feet on the ground, despite the club being level on points with Primera Division leaders Barcelona.

The young shot stopper, who is on loan from Chelsea, has warned against complacency, and admits that Real Madrid should be considered as one of the favourites for the title despite their stuttering start.

"At the moment, we are joint leaders with Barcelona," he explained, speaking to Marca.

"I believe that Real Madrid and Barcelona always fight for the title. We go from game to game, and the objective is the Champions League.

"If we are able to play for the championship title it would be good, but the priority is to be in the Champions League."

Colombian star striker Falcao has been fundamental in Atletico's season so far, and Courtois believes that his team-mate should be considered one of the world's best.

"The Ballon d'Or? There are many great players and, at the moment, Falcao is one of the best.

"He has scored many important goals, not only in La Liga, but also in the final against Athletic [Bilbao], in which he scored two goals, and against Chelsea, where he got three, and only the best players can do that, but there is also Cristiano [Ronaldo], Messi, Xavi or Iniesta."

After beating highly-placed Osasuna recently, Courtois believes the victory has given Atletico a great advantage over their rivals for the Champions League spaces.

"It was an important game. Valencia and Athletic lost and Valencia are already 14 points behind us, and that is good.

"There are also Real Betis and Sevilla. Having that advantage gives us peace of mind," he reasoned.