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Real Madrid keeper Courtois: I'm not appreciated in Belgium; it's ridiculous

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says he feels more appreciated in Spain than in his native Belgium.

Courtois has had two different spells in the LaLiga with Atletico Madrid and now at Real Madrid. The Belgium international joined Los Merengues in 2018 from Chelsea and is now in his third season for the Spanish giants.

And for the 28 year-old, he feels the status of Real Madrid as one of the biggest clubs in the world has seen his own efforts dismissed by the press and fans in his homeland. Indeed, Courtois has taken particular insult to a snub regarding this year's Sportsman of the Year award in Belgium.

He told HLN via TMW: "I spent three fantastic years at Atlético, I received praise from all over Belgium. I became Athlete of the Year and thought I was good. Today I have the feeling that everything I do is somehow perceived as normal. My performance in the match against Valladolid, for example, didn't seem to matter to anyone. It's almost not worth playing at a high level for the biggest club in the world."

Courtois insists he deserves greater recognition from the Belgian public and media for his form and success with Real Madrid. Over the two-and-a-half seasons he's had with the Spanish giants, Courtois has won the LaLiga title, Supercopa de Espana and FIFA Club World Cup. He was also last season's Zamora Trophy winner in Spain.

The goalkeeper added: "I can understand that Romelu Lukaku won the trophy for best Belgian footballer abroad. He deserved the award, I also told him, but not being nominated for the Sportsman of the Year seems ridiculous to me, given the other nominations. I'm appreciated more in Spain."


- updated March 9

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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