Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said they cannot underestimate Sheriff Tiraspol in tonight’s Champions League clash.
Sheriff have been a revelation in this season’s group campaign so far.
“It’ll be a tough game. Sheriff are strong defensively and are a threat on the counter-attack. We already saw that at our place. We’re going to try and put in another good performance and win the game to qualify for the next round,” he said.
“It’s an important game for us. There’s no such thing as an easy game nowadays. There’s now no such thing as going into a game thinking you’re going to beat modest opposition. We were aware before the reverse fixture that they were good defensively and that they launched quick counter-attacks.
“We lacked a cutting edge in that game. They got a goal with one counter-attack and then scored a worldie, those kinds of things can happen. We’ll have to be focused, aggressive and go out there and show them that we’re here to win.”
Courtois also defended fellow Belgian Eden Hazard as he continues to struggle for form.
He also stated: “He hasn’t trained much in the last week because he’s been ill. I’ve known him for a long time and know that his dream is to play for Real Madrid. It’s a shame things haven’t worked out as everyone wants them to. I can see that he’s got the desire, joy and wants to help the team and is looking to improve.It’s not easy to rediscover your best form when you haven’t played for the last two and a half years. He will achieve that by training and playing game.
“He’ll deliver when the coach calls on him. He has a lot to offer this team and we mustn’t forget the quality that Eden possesses. People are forgetting about just what a good player he is and he’s showed throughout his career that he’s one of the best players in the world. You don’t just lose that quality and talent as easily as that. We mustn’t forget about him or write him off because we’re not just talking about any old player here.”