The UEFA Champions League Draw has paired Chelsea with Atletico Madrid, and has given the Atletico Madrid owners and manager a fascinating conundrum.
Atletico’s much heralded goalkeeper Thibault Courtois is actually on loan from Chelsea. The terms of the loan agreement state that if the two teams were drawn together in the UEFA CL then Atletico would have to pay Chelsea £3 million per game should they want to play him.
So, do they decide to part with £6 million in the hope that Courtois could help them through to possibly a historic Final against their arch rivals Real Madrid. If the gamble pays off then their reveues from UEFA alone would increase by either €1.6m or €6.6m depending on whether they won the Final or not. There would also be all the other associated income that’s generated by being a Champions League Finalist.
What pressure would that put on the goalkeeper though, in the knowledge that he’s costing his club £6 million to play. What if he makes a mistake. There’s also the fascinating twist of the fact that Courtois will likely be playing for Chelsea next season.
What effect does it have on Atletico’s reserve keeper Dani Aranzubia – if your club has so little faith in you that they are prepared to pay £6m to play someone else in your place!!
I can’t wait to see what they do!