‘It’s Wrong To Declare Barca Champs’

Thibaut Courtois

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said he does not believe Barcelona should be named champions if the La Liga season cannot be completed.

Players in Spain are being tested for the coronavirus this week ahead of a return to individual training sessions.

 La Liga has confirmed that it hopes to resume playing competitive games in June and finish the 2019-20 season this summer.

“We are two points behind Barcelona, so it’s still possible we can be champions,” Courtois said in an interview on his website. “It would be unfortunate if the season were cancelled.

“If they decide to stop the competition and Barcelona are named champions, I wouldn’t find it completely right. They drew once against us and lost once, so we showed them that we’re a better team. We’re two points behind them, but I wouldn’t agree with that.

“In England, I could understand if Liverpool become champions. I don’t know how many points ahead they are. I’d like to finish the season. I think a championship is based on all the matches that have to be played. It’s 11 games too early to decide on the champions.”

Madrid’s players will return to their Valdebebas training ground on Wednesday morning to undergo testing for the coronavirus, with a view to returning to training next Monday once club medical staff have received test results.

The club’s training ground was quarantined on March 12 and players were sent home after basketball player Trey Thompkins tested positive.

This week, the facilities have been disinfected and prepared for use, in accordance with a protocol for the return of professional sport approved by Spain’s Ministry of Health last week.

A four-week, phased process will see player testing followed by individual activities, then group sessions and finally, if all goes to plan, competitive games.

“I think we should be playing, but of course we have to consider our safety,” Courtois added.

“We have to be 100% sure before we play again, because you can be infected without carrying symptoms.”