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May 21, 2014

Courtois unsure about Chelsea return

ESPN FC's Adrian Healey discusses the build-up and the latest injury news ahead of the UEFA Champions League final from Lisbon, Portugal.

Chelsea's on-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has claimed it "would not be healthy" for him to be in the same squad as the club's first-choice keeper Peter Cech next season.

Long-standing Chelsea No.1 Cech would appear to be blocking the first-team path for Courtois, who will line up for Atletico Madrid in this weekend's Champions League final against Real Madrid in Lisbon. This will probably be the last game of the Belgian's three-year loan spell with the Spanish club.

• Worrall: Cech vs. Courtois

Yet Courtois seemed less than convinced that a return to parent club Chelsea would be a step forward in his career, as he spoke to the BBC at Atletico's pre-Champions League final media day.

"The two of us want to play everything," stated Courtois, who will line-up for Belgium at this summer's World Cup finals. "Nobody will be happy to play in only the League Cup or FA Cup. Things are unclear at the moment.

"I have the biggest respect for Petr Cech. I think he was named as the best goalkeeper of the Premier League, so he is still at a great level. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world so I think putting him and me in the same team is not the healthiest thing in the world.

"With the World Cup coming, I wanted this resolved quickly as I have to concentrate on that, but that was not possible. We will see in the next week if we can sit together with Chelsea to find something for next year, find out what they want, what my desire is. We will see."

Courtois admitted he 'felt strange' to be a part of the Atletico side that knocked Chelsea out of this season's Champions League at the semi-final stage, but he hopes he handled the second leg of the tie at Stamford Bridge in a professional manner.

"It was strange and weird knocking out Chelsea," said Courtois. "Normally when you win a semi-final you celebrate really hard, but I didn't do it because Chelsea bought me and gave me the opportunity to play for Atletico for three years.

"I think I showed respect to the Chelsea players and supporters and they to me. It was a nice feeling and hopefully I can give them those things back in the future."

Courtois is looking forward to Saturday's Champions League decider with relish, as he suggested the newly crowned Spanish league champions will look to continue with their ploy of counter-attacking football against local rivals Real Madrid.

"We know these are top players and it will not be easy," he added. "I think we will play the same game as we always do. There are some teams that play more defensive against us and we found it more difficult to make the game.

"Against Real Madrid they will have to come more. We will have to defend well and play more on the counter-attack."

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