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Champions League final team news: Courtois to start, confirms Ancelotti

Madrid face underdogs Dortmund at Wembley Stadium

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois playing football

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will make his first Uefa Champions League appearance in more than a year by starting this season’s final against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed.

Luckless Courtois has missed almost the entirety of the season with two serious knee injuries but made his comeback in La Liga in the first of four starts for the Belgium international this month.

The urgency of restoring Courtois has been heightened by replacement Andriy Lunin falling ill, although the Ukraine goalkeeper will be fit if required.

“Lunin has had the flu,” said Ancelotti. “He’s going to travel. He is going to be on the bench, of course and yes, Thibaut Courtois is going to be in goal.”BETTING TIPS FOR THIS MATCH

Champions League teams: Thibaut in starting XI

Courtois last featured in the competition in Madrid’s 4-0 defeat at holders Manchester City last season, sending them out at the semi-final stage 5-1 on aggregate.

The 32-year-old won the Champions League with the Spanish side in 2021/22 and was also in goal for Atletico Madrid when they lost the 2013/14 final to their neighbours, conceding a 93rd-minute equaliser as part of a 4-1 defeat after extra time.

After suffering his initial injury in August, Courtois had returned to partial training in March when he sustained a problem which required the removal of ligament.

 

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“With the first injury, I knew I would be able to play by May,” Courtois told RMTV this week. “With the second, I was not so sure I would get a game.

“In the end, there have been four [games] and I feel very good. I’m a very happy man. My personal victory is having played those four and being available for the final.

“Two or three months ago I couldn’t have imagined it, but I’m 100% and at the manager’s disposal, here to help the team.

“When you get injured, you always have to prove on the pitch that you’re the same as before, and you have to work hard for that. We’ve done that. Now I’m happy, quick, moving well. I’m training well, I feel good. There’s no doubt.”

Despite his return at club level, 102-cap Courtois has been left out of Belgium’s squad for Uefa Euro 2024, with Red Devils manager Domenico Tedesco claiming that “everything has already been said” over a potential recall.

“I don’t want a tit-for-tat situation,” Tedesco told German media on Tuesday, via BBC Sport. “We are focusing on players who are in good shape.”

Favourites Madrid have the chance to extend their own record by winning a 15th European title. Find out all the key details on how to follow the final.

Picture of Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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