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'Everyone is targeting Thibaut' - Courtois' father feels Real Madrid goalkeeper being treated unfairly

19:23 GMT+3 12/03/2019
Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid 2018-19
The Belgium international has struggled to find his best form in his debut season at the Santiago Bernabeu following a move from Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois' father believes that the Real Madrid goalkeeper is being treated unfairly by the media.

The Belgium international has failed to reach his best form in his first season with the Blancos, after making a move from Chelsea last summer. 

Courtois has managed just 10 clean sheets in 32 games thus far, as Madrid have endured a difficult season. 

Madrid are now on their third manager of the campaign after Zinedine Zidane returned to his former post on Monday. 

Zidane's return was precipitated by Madrid's embarrassing Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax last week, with the Dutch side winning 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in the second leg of the last-16 tie. 

Courtois was heavily criticised for his role in Ajax's fourth goal, as Lasse Schone's free-kick from the flank sailed over his head and into the upper corner of the net. 

It wasn't the first time the Belgian had come under fire in an underwhelming debut campaign, but the goalkeeper's father feels the criticism has been misguided. 

"I feel that everyone is targeting Thibaut. The Spanish press, and also the Flemish. As a father, I cannot ignore that," Thierry Courtois told Het Laatste Nieuws.

"A goalkeeper is always the first target, it is part of the job. For right or wrong, I let you judge that.

"But after the match against Ajax, he was targeted because of the fourth goal after he’d played well. This single mistake has taken on huge proportions.

"There are also personal things that come out in the press. I see the intentions of journalists to my son. I’m struggling with that, but luckily Thibaut is above that.

"He knows what to do and is aware of his qualities and he will not doubt himself."

Madrid's former starting goalkeeper Keylor Navas has managed four clean sheets in 14 games this season, and his goals-against average of 1.07 is superior to Courtois, who is conceding 1.31 goals per game. 

Zidane's first game of his second stint in charge of Madrid comes on Saturday, when the Blancos take on Celta Vigo in La Liga action.