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Thibaut Courtois joining Real Madrid hurts - ex-Atletico captain Gabi

Thibaut Courtois discusses how happy he is to finally be able to make his boyhood of playing for Real Madrid a reality.
With Thibaut Courtois set to join Real Madrid, the FC crew assess whether he improves their chances of winning La Liga more than Keylor Navas.

Former Atletico Madrid captain Gabi Fernandez has said he felt "hurt" that ex-teammate Thibaut Courtois had joined rivals Real Madrid.

Courtois, who moved to the Bernabeu from Chelsea for £35 million last week, angered Atletico fans when he kissed the badge on his new shirt and said he had supported Real since childhood.

Gabi, who now plays for Al-Sadd, won four trophies in three seasons with Courtois when the keeper was on loan at Atletico and told AS it was odd to see him playing for Real.

"It hurts," he said. "He has played with you, won trophies, it's a strange one. That's it, more than it hurts -- it's strange."

Gabi said he was certain defender Diego Godin would sign a new contract despite transfer window interest from both Manchester United and Juventus.

"I prefer to value what we have at home, those who really love this team -- Koke, Saul [Niguez], Juanfran, Godin," he added.

"Godin is indispensable. He cannot leave, and he doesn't want to. I've spoken with him. These offers -- United, Juve -- exist. I am sure he and Atletico will work it out in the end. Diego is a leader, the ideal captain."

Gabi said he had been uncertain whether Antoine Griezmann would join Barcelona earlier in summer before the France international forward decided to stay.

"I had doubts, it was confusing," he said. "He told me: 'Capi -- I'm staying.' But then I saw [Gerard] Pique, who said: 'He's told us he's coming,' and I said to myself: 'That b------.'

"But in the end he made the right decision, said no to Barca and stayed. He knows there is nowhere better than Atleti."

Gabi added that he was happy 22-year-old Rodrigo Hernandez, who rejoined Atletico from Villarreal, had taken his old No. 14 shirt.

"His history is similar to mine -- leaving, doing well at another club, and returning," he said. He is a very capable player, wins the ball back, positions himself well."

Rodri's first big start could come in Wednesday's UEFA Supercup against Real in Estonia, with Gabi predicting that his old side would triumph.

"Atleti need to win," he said. "Not as it is Madrid, but as a boost to start La Liga well. And they will win, I'm sure."

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