Thibaut Courtois’ plaque on Atletico Madrid’s “walk of legends” outside the Wanda Metropolitano stadium has been removed after fans reacted angrily to the goalkeeper’s comments ahead of the Champions League final.
Courtois, 30, spent three seasons on loan at Atletico from 2011 to 2014, winning LaLiga but losing the Champions League final to rivals Real Madrid, who he later joined in 2018.
It is not known who was responsible for removing the plaque, which are dedicated to every player who has made over 100 appearances for Atletico.
However, on Monday, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo responded to the desire of some Atletico fans to remove Courtois’ award plate in this way:
If you want to remove Courtois’ plaque, go with an axe and shovel and remove it
Courtois made reference to his 2014 final loss ahead of last Saturday’s Champions League final, which Madrid won 1-0 against Liverpool in Paris after the goalkeeper made a series of stunning saves.
Courtois said in a pre-match news conference:
It was different for me [in 2014]. “When Real Madrid play a final, they win it, so now I’m on the right side of history.
That comment did not go down well with Atletico fans, who took it as a jibe aimed at their club.
Even the mayor of Madrid Jose Luis Martinez Almeida — well known as an Atletico supporter — mentioned the remarks in a ceremony during Madrid’s trophy parade on Sunday, saying:
Those of us who cried with you in Lisbon [the venue for the 2014 final] were on the right side too.
Courtois has been unpopular with Atletico fans ever since deciding to move to Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2018.
During a Madrid derby in September 2019, fans threw toy rats at Courtois during the game, while his plaque was vandalised with garbage and graffiti.