Real Madrid’s Courtois ready for Champions League final spot

Thibaut Courtois has stated he is “ready” to start in Saturday’s Champions League final versus Borussia Dortmund if called upon despite only recently returning from a long-term injury.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has yet to decide whether to play him or Andriy Lunin in goal, though sources have told ESPN that the Italian is leaning towards Courtois..

Sidelined for much of the season after suffering two serious knee injuries, Courtois has kept clean sheets in the four games he has started since returning to action on May 4 versus Cádiz.

“I feel 100% and ready for who the coach decides to play at Wembley,” Courtois told Diario AS.

“We are all [the goalkeepers] at 100% and it will be [for]the coach to decide who plays. Many people thought my season was over [when he suffered a new knee injury in March] but I had hope that I would return to play. The game against Cádiz was a personal victory.”

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Courtois was omitted from Belgium’s provisional squad for the European Championship, with national team coach Domenico Tedesco saying Courtois had told the team that his body wasn’t ready for the international tournament.

Lunin has been a worthy replacement for Courtois, not only helping the club win LaLiga but also coming up with sensational saves versus RB Leipzig and Manchester City as Madrid advanced to the Champions League final.

“My teammates have done great work to reach the final,” Courtois admitted. “Dortmund will also think the same, of course, but my teammates deserve to win this Champions League.”

Lunin has been training away from the team as a result of a fever, though he is expected to travel with the rest of the squad to London on Thursday without issue. Ancelotti wanted him to train alone in order to ensure that other players weren’t infected.

Real Madrid veteran midfielder Luka Modric, meanwhile, is not only hoping to win the Champions League this weekend but also to be offered a new contract before becoming a free agent in June.

“I hope that [winning the Champions League and new contract offer] happens,” the 38-year-old said on Spanish radio. “I’ve always said that I would like to retire at Real Madrid. That is what I truly want and desire. It would be a dream come true to retire [in what I consider to be] my home and the club of my life.”

Another player that does not want to leave Madrid is Rodrygo Goes.

The Brazil international tried to make it clear that he is “very happy” at the club despite his comments in a recent interview that appeared to cast doubt on his future with the club.

“One of my interviews was completely taken out of context,” Rodrygo wrote on X. “To be very direct, I am very happy at Real Madrid, I live a dream every day and it does not cross my mind to leave the club of my life! Now we continue with history to be made.”

Rodrygo, alongside Brazil teammate Vinícius Júnior, has played a big part in Madrid reaching the final in Wembley.

Vinícius has been touted as a contender to succeed Lionel Messi as the Ballon d’Or winner and has attributed much of his success to Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti.

“He’s done everything for me,” Vinícius said of Ancelotti to UEFA. “He’s always given me confidence, told me off when I needed it, and we’ve developed a very good relationship.

“He’s changed me as a player, not on the pitch, but in the way I think about training and development… Every day he teaches me more and more on and off the pitch.”

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