Real Madrid boss explains Courtois exclusion for Girona match
Thibaut Courtois was an unused substitute for Madrid's win over Girona
Real Madrid came back from a goal down to beat Girona 4-1 at the Estadi Montilivi last night.
Penalties from Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, who scored a brace, and a late goal from Gareth Bale confirmed the win for Madrid, who have won their first two games of the season after selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer.
New Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui opted for a 4-2-3-1, allowing Luka Modrić to continue his recovery after a gruelling summer, playing Toni Kroos and Casemiro in midfield.
But it was between the sticks that the most fascinating selection came, as Keylor Navas was given the nod over new signing Thibaut Courtois.
Courtois was the best goalkeeper at the World Cup and subsequently joined Madrid from Chelsea for a fee of £35m, but started on the bench for his first match as a Real Madrid player.
Asked why the new signing did not start the game, Lopetegui said:
"It’s not a situation that’s easy to understand, but it’s simple enough to explain."
“I’ve got some really good options in goal and there are no problems in that area. We’ll decide what’s best for each game.
“Keylor got the nod today and did very well. There’s great competition and that makes us stronger in the goalkeeping department. I’ve got some thoughts in my mind, but I’m not going to share them.
“Over the course of the season, I’ll look for solutions to solve the next immediate challenge.”
It raises questions over why Madrid signed Courtois if the manager prefers Navas. There are suggestions that it is part of a longer plan to bring Eden Hazard to the club, who is very good friends with Courtois from their time playing together for Chelsea and Belgium.