Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has insisted that Barcelona shouldn’t be awarded the La Liga title if the current campaign can’t be completed.
As things stand after the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March, the Catalan giants sit top of the table with a two-point lead over Real Madrid with 11 games remaining.
Spain are planning to resume the campaign at some point with a return to training for players being planned this month, but there are no clear dates or confirmed schedule for games to be played as of yet, although BBC Sport note that the plan is perhaps to restart in June.
Much will depend on the government’s decision-making before that time though, as they will have their say on public and sporting events, with the likes of the Eredivisie and Ligue 1 campaigns being brought to a premature end in recent weeks.
Courtois though has insisted that in the event that the season can’t be completed, Barcelona shouldn’t be awarded the title just because they top the standings currently, as he argued that Real Madrid’s record against them this season in their head-to-head encounters shows that Los Blancos are the better team.
“We are two points behind Barcelona, so it’s still possible we can be champions,” Courtois said in an interview on his website, as posted in full by ESPN. “It would be unfortunate if the season were cancelled.
“If they decide to stop the competition and Barcelona are named champions, I wouldn’t find it completely right. They drew once against us and lost once, so we showed them that we’re a better team. We’re two points behind them, but I wouldn’t agree with that.
“In England, I could understand if Liverpool become champions. I don’t know how many points ahead they are. I’d like to finish the season. I think a championship is based on all the matches that have to be played. It’s 11 games too early to decide on the champions.”
Time will tell if the Belgian international gets his wish or not, but ultimately the safety of the players, staff and all concerned will be prioritised, with Spain being one of the hardest hit countries in the pandemic.
If the testing and training plans go through with no setbacks, namely no-one testing positive for the virus, then perhaps a June restart with no EURO 2020 on the schedule anymore could allow the Spanish league at least to finish their season and fairly reach conclusions on the title race, battle for European qualification and relegation without it being taken out of their hands.