Thibaut Courtois’ father has hit out at Keylor Navas, accusing the goalkeeper of ‘not being a good team-mate’ to his son during their time together at Real Madrid.
Thierry Courtois took aim at Navas, who made life ‘complicated’ for the Belgium No 1 when he arrived at the Bernabeu in a £35million switch from Chelsea in 2018.
He contrasted their tense relationship with the positive experience Thibaut had with Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge, prior to his transfer away from the Blues.
Keylor Navas made life difficult for Thibaut Courtois (right) when he first joined Real Madrid
Courtois’ father accused the Costa Rican of making his son’s arrival ‘complicated’
Thierry told Le Derniere Heure: ‘His arrival was a bit complicated. The season had already begun and he was behind in his preparations.
‘But, above all, the problem was that Keylor was still there. He had to wait two or three games to be a starter.
‘His integration was not easy because Keylor was always there, there was a difficult internal competitiveness.
‘Also external, with the journalists, who were in favour of Keylor. Once he went to PSG, everything was easier
Courtois found life far easier at Real Madrid after Keylor Navas left the club for PSG in 2019
He continued: ‘Petr received him very well (at Chelsea). He was the first one to come to receive him in his first training, he always gave him advice and helped him to integrate.
‘He was a great team-mate who he could always count on. The same cannot be said for Keylor.’
Courtois and Navas competed for the No 1 spot in the team during the 2018-19 season and the Belgian’s form was considered by many to improve after Navas departed.
Thierry Courtois says Navas made things complicated for his son after he joined from Chelsea
The Costa Rican joined PSG on a four-year deal in September of last year and has gone on to establish himself as first choice for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The news of a difficult relationship between himself and Courtois comes against the backdrop of recent dressing room divisions at the Bernabeu.
Karim Benzema was overhead at half-time of Real’s 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League this week, telling Ferland Mendy: ‘Don’t play with him. On my mother’s life, he [Vinicius] is playing against us.
French news outlet Telefoot released the footage following the game on Tuesday, which shows the Real Madrid players filtering out from the dressing room and into the tunnel for the second half, with Vinicius stood within earshot of both Benzema and Mendy.
Cameras in the tunnel at Borussia-Park picked up a conversation in French between Karim Benzema (bottom right) and Ferland Mendy, who were reportedly talking about Vinicius (far left)
A fresh report in MARCA says Spanish TV station GOL TV have picked up more detail, with Benzema reportedly telling fellow Frenchman Mendy: ‘He [Vinicius] does not do anything useful,’ with the left back replying: ‘When he becomes scared, he loses what makes him great.’
Jamie Carragher said he did not think the incident was indicative of a toxic dressing room environment, telling CBS: ‘If someone is having a really poor game, you are almost having a go at the guy who is maybe behind him.
‘Maybe it’s a full back and there’s a winger in front and you’re saying ‘use your brain, he’s not having the best of games, look for someone else’.
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