Barcelona don’t want to meet Chelsea, say Courtois


Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois claims Barcelona will not want to draw them in the last 16.

Chelsea were held 1-1 against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, while Roma beat Qarabag 1-0 to leapfrog Antonio Conte’s men into top spot.

The Blues will now likely face Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain or Besiktas, and while Courtois is aware of the task at hand for his side, he says the European giants will not fancy meeting them.

“There are several English teams that have been finished in first position, so we can only play against Barca, PSG and Besiktas, but if you ask Barca if they want to face against Chelsea, they will say no,” he said.

“We are a good team and we are going to try everything to get far in the Champions League.”

The Spanish side, meanwhile, have come in third place and Courtois is a little sad to see his former club go out.

“Atletico are a difficult team to play, and we could have scored more goals but [Jan] Oblak had a great game, they are also dangerous at set pieces and they scored the goal for us.

“It’s hard for them, it’s a team that has come a long way in this tournament in recent years, but if I’m honest, from my point of view as a Chelsea player, they can still reach the quarter-finals or semi-finals. In the group stage, you do not want to face Atleti.

“On the one hand it is better that they are out of the tournament, but I have many friends and it hurts me for them that they don’t continue in the Champions League.”

The Champions League round-of-16 draw will take place on December 11.