Andoni Zubizarreta, former goalkeeper and former sporting director of FC Barcelona among other clubs, has confirmed that one of the names that were considered to cover the departure of Víctor Valdés was that of Thibaut Courtois, the current Real Madrid goalkeeper.
Zubizarreta explained to Mundo Deportivo why they decided on Marc André ter Stegen.
“Jordi Melero, who was in charge of following players in Germany, told me: ‘I’ve seen a guy with personality at Borussia Mönchengladbach… they are about to go down. I don’t know much about goalkeepers, but you should go and have a look’.”
“We were convinced by Ter Stegen’s personality, his one-on-one play, that he came out high in the air to win aerial duels, that he occupied the goal very well and, of course, that he knew how to play the ball out with his feet, with both short and long passes.”
Zubizarreta admitted that Courtois was on that shortlist.
“Yes, he was another name who would have fitted in perfectly. The question was that we needed someone to play further forward and at that moment Courtois wasn’t doing that. Today Courtois does a lot more things than when we analysed him. This evolution of Courtois is very difficult to do because playing further forward from where you are in goal and playing with your feet means you have to have a more complex vision of the pitch. This change is a difficult one to make and Courtois has done it,” he explained.
GSFN | Kieran Quaile