Carlo Ancelotti conflicted between Courtois and Lunin for hypothetical Champions League final

Carlo Ancelotti has created some controversy following his statements in Real Madrid’s press conference on Friday, with the Italian manager giving no answer as to which goalkeeper he would plan on playing in a hypothetical Champions League final: Lunin or Courtois.

This weekend will see the return of starting Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after missing all what has been played in the 2023-24 season due to an ACL and meniscus injury. He will start in their home LaLiga bout against Cadiz this Saturday.

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However, with the Belgian’s return to the pitch in the last stretch of the season — one where Real Madrid will fight to win yet another UEFA Champions League and LaLiga title — the club’s starting goalkeeper position and who will be in charge of taking that mantle, is up in the air. At least for Ancelotti.

Carlo Ancelotti conflicted between Courtois and Lunin for starting goalkeeper position

After announcing the Real Madrid No. 1’s long-awaited return this weekend, Ancelotti was found conflicted over the decision of playing either Courtois or back-up goalkeeper Andriy Lunin in a hypothetical Champions League final.

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“Courtois will play [against Cádiz], Lunin will play vs Bayern on Wednesday”, says Ancelotti. 

“I don’t know [who would play in the Champions League final],” he added.

Real Madrid drew Bayern Munich 2-2 in the first leg of the tournament’s semifinal, with the club hoping to seal their qualification to the final at home next week.

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Lunin took over the starting goalkeeping position at Real Madrid after Los Blancos emergency-signed Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan after Courtois' injury. 

Though, Kepa’s unconvincing, inconsistent performances at the early stage of the season opened way for the 25-year-old keeper to get his big-break in Real Madrid’s starting XI and he has not let go since. He’s played 29 games this season, including the Spanish Super Cup final and all Champions League knockout round games, with stellar performances along the way.

The Ukranian goalkeeper saved multiple penalties in Madrid's penalty shoot-out against Manchester City in the Champions League quarterfinals.

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Courtois, who was not played a single match this season, would have only a few LaLiga games (5) left of rehearsal ahead of a potential start in the Champions League final.

The 31-year-old was Real Madrid’s man-of-the-match in their Champions League final victory over Liverpool in 2022, with the Belgian making an incredible nine saves to seal Madrid’s record 14th European title

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