Spanish international goalkeeper Iker Casillas is set to start his fourth Champions League final for Real Madrid later today as they take on city-rivals Atletico Madrid.
In the build up to the game, the Real Madrid icon was asked which goalkeepers he sees as future stars of the game and he opted for two players he knows very well – Chelsea loanee Thibaut Courtois and Manchester United shot-stopper David de Gea.
“Courtois is a magnificent goalkeeper with an excellent progression. He is no longer the great promise, he is at the very top now. On the international scene, along with David De Gea, they are the two goalkeepers who have the biggest future in the game. I am sure that they are going to be spoken about a lot,” He said, quoted by ESPN.
Belgian international Courtois has had a memorable season on loan at Atletico Madrid, keeping 20 La Liga clean sheets on his way to lifting the title, though the Champions League final may be his last before he returns to Chelsea.
The Blues are reportedly keen for Courtois to challenge Petr Cech for the number one spot next season, with Jose Mourinho undoubtedly impressed by the 22-year-old’s ability.
His relationship with Chelsea, however, is almost non-existent and he appears extremely happy in the Spanish capital. If Mourinho wants Courtois to be a part of his new-look Chelsea team in the future, he has to guarantee him the number one jersey.
David de Gea also has fond memories of Atletico Madrid, having starred at the Vicente Calderon stadium before making the move to Old Trafford.
The United shot-stopper has come on leaps and bounds for the Red Devils, and this season he deservedly picked up the Player of the Year award following an impressive Premier League campaign, despite the team’s struggles.
At just 23, De Gea is seen as the long-term replacement for Casillas in the Spanish national set-up, and the United star’s experience alongside Casillas at this summer’s World Cup may play a huge part in his development.