Courtois says abuse "doesn't delete the three years I had at Atletico"

The goalkeeper says he still has "maximum" respect for Atleti and their fans

La afición del Atlético recibió de uñas a Thibaut Courtois
La afición del Atlético recibió de uñas a Thibaut Courtois | AFP

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois says he will not forget the three years he spent at Atletico despite the abuse he received during Saturday's Madrid derby.  

Goals from Casemiro, Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale helped Madrid win 3-1 at the Wanda Metropolitano. Antoine Griezmann scored for the hosts. 

Courtois was making his first appearance at Atletico's new home since signing for their rivals Real, which did not go down well with the Rojiblancos considering he spent three years with the club. 

Supporters jeered and whistled the Belgian international and threw toy rats at him. 

"I still have maximum respect for Atletico and their fans," Courtois said after the game. "The three years I spent here cannot be deleted because of these things. 

"I spent three really good years here and I'm not going to forget them because of what happened today. I was focused on the game and I didn't even really realise.

"I always give my all. I always did at Atletico, where we won things. The people that know that respect me, when I pass an Atletico fan in the street they always wish me the best. 

"The derby is always heated. People do these things and there's no problem." 

Madrid's win moved them aehad of Atletico into second place in La Liga. They are five points behind Barcelona (who have a game in hand) and Courtois says they will fight for the title. 

"We have to believe, because there are no easy games," he added. "You can't think that we are going to win easily -- or that they are. That doesn't exist in football. 

"We're five points back. I think this month could be decisive and we have to fight until the end."

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