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Courtois: Simeone criticises Real Madrid to boost his popularity

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Thibaut Courtois claims that his old Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone only criticises Real Madrid to please the club’s fanbase

Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric was left fuming with Simeone’s comments that French duo Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane would have been more worthy winners for the award than himself.

The Croatian hit out against Simeone and claimed that he has “a constant need to undermine Real Madrid”.

But Courtois insists that Simeone’s sole motive is to boost his own popularity among the Atletico supporters.

“Simeone criticises Madrid so as to be popular with his fans,” said Courtois, according to Fox Sports.

“He always does it, attacks Madrid for being the best in the world.”

Courtois added: “Everyone’s opinions have to be respected, everyone can say their personal opinion.

“But I was there for three years and when you always fight against Real Madrid, which is the best team in the world, you’re going to say things to generate populism.

“In my case, he said I had won that trophy [Best goalkeeper] because I played for Real Madrid, but in the World Cup I was Chelsea, and in The Best Award, the votes were closed in July.

“[Atletico goalkeeper Jan] Oblak is also a great goalkeeper and could have had more points, but there are a lot of people who vote.”

The Belgian goalkeeper spent three seasons on loan at Atletico between 2011 to 2014, and made 154 appearances in the process.

Courtois won a La Liga title, Copa del Rey, the Europa League and was named the Spanish league’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013.