- Premier League
Atletico keeper Courtois doesn't want Chelsea return
Thibaut Courtois says he hopes to stay at Atletico Madrid next season, and not return to Premier League club Chelsea when his current loan spell ends in June.
Courtois joined Chelsea in summer 2011 from Genk, but was immediately loaned to Atletico, where he quickly established himself as first choice and played a key role in the Liga club's Europa League victory last term.
The Belgium international has continued to impress this season and told AS on Tuesday that he was loving life at Atleti and wished to stay in Spain, although the decision could be out of his hands.
"There is a big possibility," Courtois said. "Everyone knows I like it here. The fans are very good to me and I try and give that back. I am happy, I like my life here, my team-mates. It is not just my decision, Chelsea and Atletico also have to talk. But everyone knows I like it here and, if I can, I want to stay."
In Sunday's La Liga game at home to Real Sociedad Courtois, still only 21, set a new Atletico club record of 820 minutes without conceding a goal at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, leading to more acclaim from the grateful Colchoneros supporters.
"When they sang my name in the first half I knew it, but that just lasted a moment," he said. "Then I had to be very focused on the game. It is a good record, it is a lot of minutes, and it is something very, very nice. I always try to keep a clean sheet and help the team."
Courtois did finally concede in that game, with txuri-urdin attacker Xabi Prieto's goal sealing a 1-0 win for the visitors, and meaning Atletico had dropped points at home for the first time all season. The result also saw Diego Simeone's side fall below city rivals Real Madrid in the Primera Division standings for the first time all season.
The keeper said it had been a disappointment to lose their 100% home record, but the team was already focused on picking up three points at Osasuna next weekend.
"The dressing room is very disappointed," he said. "It is normal after a game like that. After 20 minutes with intensity, making chances, we did not take control of the game. But they played well, they attacked a few times, but without too much danger.
"In the second half we tried to push for a goal, and at that moment they scored. We must be happy though with what we are doing this season and be ready for the next game on Sunday in Pamplona, which will be very difficult. We have lost now, so next week we must win."