Pressure of Santiago Bernabeu gives Courtois desire to improve

Thibaut Courtois in action for Real Madrid

It has been a difficult debut season for Thibaut Courtois at Real Madrid, but he insists Zinedine Zidane’s side are improving.

Thibaut Courtois believes that he is thriving under the pressure of playing for Real Madrid despite Los Blancos’ difficult season.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois signed for Madrid following an impressive showing for Belgium at the 2018 World Cup but his first campaign at Santiago Bernabeu has been a turbulent one.

Courtois has made 27 LaLiga appearances in total so far this term, though he lost his place in the side when Zinedine Zidane succeeded Santiago Solari, with Keylor Navas preferred.

The 27-year-old has since regained his starting spot, but Madrid’s form has tailed off and they have won just three of their previous eight league fixtures.

A disappointing campaign comes to a close against Real Betis on Sunday, but Courtois insists that the stresses of playing in front of an expectant Madrid crowd will only have improved his game in the long run.

“It would be good to give one last joy to the fans, go on vacation with a victory and finish the year well to prepare the next season,” Courtois said in an interview with Codere.

“We are training with a lot of enthusiasm because we know it was not the best season, but we are improving, we are training very hard to prepare for the next season and we are looking forward to finishing well.

“It’s very nice, it’s a dream to be able to play in a big stadium, when I’m in the goal and I see the Bernabeu from there it’s very beautiful.

“It gives more adrenaline, more desire to play well, it’s pressure too but I like to play like that.

“To the fans I ask you to continue supporting us, we know that this year was not the best but the following year we will go for all of them [trophies] again.”

Madrid are guaranteed to finish third in LaLiga, with the squad reportedly set for big changes in the off season.

Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic is rumoured to be a priority target, while Gareth Bale has been linked with a move away from Madrid.

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