Courtois: I almost quit football for cyclocross

Thibaut Courtois is one of the world’s most highly-rated goalkeepers but he very nearly quit football in his pre-teen years in pursuit of another sport.

The Real Madrid ‘keeper has always enjoyed cyclocross and came close to hanging up his boots and gloves in order to full immerse involve himself in cycling.

“I liked cyclocross very much,” Courtois admitted of his younger years when sitting with Oscar Freire, a three-time world road cycling champion.

“There was a time when I was 11 or 12 years old that I almost left football because I told my parents that I wanted to do cyclocross. But, in the end, I continued with football.”

The pair continued their discussion and Courtois returned to speaking about current affairs, stating his desire for Madrid to win their final game of this disappointing season on Saturday.

“It would be good to give the fans something to celebrate,” he said.

“To go on holiday with a win to end the year well would be good ahead of next season.”

Although there is nothing to play for, the Belgian explained that they haven’t started to lighten their workload just yet.

“The team is training very hard,” he said.

“We know it wasn’t the best season but we’re improving.

“We’re training hard to prepare for next season and we want to end it well.”