Thibaut Courtois says he's never been happier at Chelsea and scorns players who move for money

The goalkeeper has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Tuesday 24 January 2017 13:43
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Courtois hailed the team spirit Antonio Conte has instilled at Chelsea
Courtois hailed the team spirit Antonio Conte has instilled at Chelsea

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois insists he has never felt happier at Stamford Bridge than he does now.

Despite being linked with moves to former club Atletico Madrid and their cross-town rivals Real in the summer, the Belgian's latest comments will have boosted Antonio Conte's hopes of keeping a player who has been ever-present for the league leaders this season.

“I have never felt so good since I arrived in Chelsea. On the field, I am good, I make the decisive stops when it is necessary," the 24-year-old told reporters.

“I try to always be ready to help the team. My game has also improved a lot in the last two seasons. I sometimes have a few moments that are very difficult to manage but I’m doing well. I feel very confident right now."

Courtois was signed by Chelsea in 2011 before being loaned out to Atletico for three seasons where he won a La Liga title and the Europa League.

He returned to Stamford Bridge in 2014 where he forced his way into the first-team and won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho.

Despite a disappointing league finish last season, Chelsea have returned to their form of two seasons ago and are odds-on favourites to clinch the title this year.

Courtois has credited new manager Conte with instilling a more adventurous style of play into the side and a good team spirit in the dressing room.

“I like that we are asked to attack the ball and go forwards in any circumstances," he added. "There’s a good atmosphere in the group. Lots of jokes and banter but we work hard and we enjoy it.”

He also appeared to criticise former teammates Oscar and Jon Obi Mikel, who both recently made big money moves to China: “Some players are more concentrated on what they will do after their football career and want to make sure their lives are financially settled.

“I prefer to play in big teams, earn a little less money and win trophies.”

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