Courtois: I was happy at Chelsea but nobody turns Real Madrid down

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The Belgium international completed a switch from Stamford Bridge to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer having made secret of his desire to make a move

Thibaut Courtois claims to have been “happy at Chelsea” but says no player in world football would turn down the chance to sign for Real Madrid.

The Belgium international swapped Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2018.

He had made no secret of his desire to secure a switch to Spain, with his young family still living in the country following a productive three-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid between 2011 and 2014.

Chelsea eventually bowed to his wishes once it became clear that he would not be committing to fresh terms in west London, but Courtois claims he never sought to force the issue.

He told ABC: “I don't know any player that wouldn't want to play for Real Madrid.

“I was really happy at Chelsea, I felt completely integrated at the club and I had great team mates. Zero problems.

“But Real Madrid came knocking and obviously when Madrid show an interest, it's the biggest call you can get in football.”

As Courtois made his way to the Spanish capital, Cristiano Ronaldo headed out of the Bernabeu as he completed a big-money move to Juventus.

Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Champons League

The absence of a five-time Ballon d’Or winner has hit the Blancos hard, with it taking several months for them to add consistency to their game, but the Liga giants have always maintained that no one player will ever be bigger than the club.

Courtois said of Ronaldo: “He's a living legend at Real Madrid. The club's most recent history has been written, in the most part, with the goals he scored.

“I suffered facing Cristiano as a rival and he's a brilliant player but at Real Madrid I'm reminded of an old Santiago Bernabeu phrase which I am in agreement with - that no player is more important than all of the others.”

With Real having found their feet over recent weeks, they are now seeking to ensure that a testing opening to the 2018-19 campaign is followed by a trophy-laden finish.

The Liga title, Copa del Rey and fourth successive Champions League crown remain in their sights, with Courtois claiming that a treble is possible for Santiago Solari’s side.

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He said: “I'm not in any doubt at all - Real Madrid aspires to win every competition it plays in. The proof of that can be seen in training every day.

“We have a well-balanced team and some of the best players in the world in their position. I don't know one single professional in the game who, with their hand on their heart, thinks that Real Madrid won't be in the battle for every competition we're in.

“Everyone in the squad aspires to winning the lot. And we've already won the Club World Cup.”

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