Real Madrid shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois training hard, staying safe as La Liga return nears
- Real Madrid's first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has not featured since their 2-1 defeat to Betis on March 8
- The Belgium international provided an update for Real Madrid supporters as they near a return to action
The Belgium international had quietly been one of Real Madrid's best and most consistent performers this term before the pandemic suspended play in March.
He kept 15 clean sheets in 32 appearances across all competitions and considering Real Madrid are just two points behind leaders Barcelona, he's raring to resume play again.
On a Twitter post, Courtois said: "Training hard and staying safe at the same time," alongside a picture of him cycling on an exercise bike with a face mask and gloves.
Season of redemption at Real Madrid for Courtois after early criticism
Having joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2018 for a reported £31.5m fee from Chelsea, Courtois had the unenviable task of helping to shore up a shaky backline as Los Blancos looked to rebuild after Cristiano Ronaldo's departure.
He was under pressure from minute one, which only intensified after Real Madrid endured a five-match winless league run between September and early November.
Courtois was heavily criticised during a season of transition, but has returned to his dependable self in 2019-20 - so it's unsurprising to see him eager to return quickly in the Real Madrid all-white.
He's already got more clean sheets in less games this term, while conceding 20 fewer league goals in three less matches this season compared with last.
Courtois clarifies his comments, is eager for Real Madrid to return
After La Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed they want to follow the Bundesliga's lead by resuming play on June 12, Courtois clarified comments surrounding who is more deserving of the title, if play does not resume as planned.
The 28-year-old told TVE: "At no time did I say that Madrid should be crowned champions if La Liga is ended [without the remaining fixtures being played].
"We are in better shape, even though we lost to Betis [their last game before coronavirus shutdown] and if we play the 11 games that are left, I'm confident that my team can win LaLiga."
If play is cleared to resume and Los Blancos manage to emerge triumphant in this season's title race, it will only be Real Madrid's second league title victory since 2011-12.
Nonetheless, the Belgian remains confident. Real Madrid players including Eden Hazard have been pictured back in training at their Valdebebas base after almost two months at home in lockdown and although restrictions still remain, Courtois cannot wait to play again.
He continued, saying: "It has been strange because of all the rules, but there's nothing better than feeling the pitch again."
Courtois has regularly updated his Twitter with training posts while observing social-distancing regulations, which will give fans encouragement that he'll continue where he left off as they target adding to their record 33 Spanish league championships.