Real Madrid's Courtois talking up winning Champions League
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibault Courtois spoke at the Johan Cruyff ArenA and was positive about the improvements in his team.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibault Courtois spoke to the press ahead of his side's clash with Ajax at the Johan Cruyff ArenA on Wednesday. The 26-year old sees this first leg of the Champions League last 16 as the beginning of another adventure at a time that finds Los Blancos in a good vein of form.
Courtois pleased to see VAR in Champìons League
Asked about whether or not being 'alive' in all three competitions (LaLiga, Champions League and Copa del Rey) as this stage of the season could be a problem for the team, he responded as per the president yesterday.
"At Madrid you always aim to win everything. it's Madrid and that's what you do."
The video review system is now a staple of the Spanish game and the big Belgian was positive about VAR's introduction to the Champions League.
"I like it," he said. "In the World Cup it was a good experience, it worked very well. Also in Spain, although sometimes you need to know a bit about the rules, these have to be explained to the fans. Sometimes it goes your way. It's fairer for football."
Ajax not taken lightly
Regarding the opposition that lies in wait, Courtois was understandably quick to point to the strengths of Ajax, and that they shouldn't be rated as a weaker side to Madrid's last two rivals, Barça and Atlético.
"They bought Blind and Tadic, experienced players. They have talents like De Ligt and De Jong, who like to play. We'll have to be careful with them.
"They proved against Bayern Munich that they are good. They are going to give us a difficult game; we have to stay focused. It will not be easy. None of us will think that."
An improved Real Madrid
And on his own team, the former Chelsea stopper believes that rivals have more respect for them in recent weeks after a slow start to the campaign.
"Now they see that it is harder to beat us. October was very bad but now I feel that they see we are playing well and they are more afraid of us. We are there to battle for everything.
Could Madrid really win a fourth consecutive European title?
"Yes! If you ask who is seen as the favourites every year, everyone will say that Madrid have a great team and experience," he said, before concluding, "let's take it one step at a time."