Thibaut Courtois claims he has not “lost anything” during an enforced break from competitive football, with the Real Madrid goalkeeper feeling refreshed and ready to feed his adrenaline addiction.
The Blancos were last in action on March 8, as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat away at Real Betis.
Zinedine Zidane’s squad were forced into lockdown shortly after that, with the coronavirus pandemic leading to the indefinite postponement of all major sporting events.
A green light has, however, been given for La Liga action to resume in June, meaning that Madrid can step up their preparations for the completion of title bids at home and abroad.
Courtois says he is raring to go, with the Belgium international feeling sharp on the back of a prolonged rest that players of his ilk are unaccustomed to.
He told UEFA’s official website of a return to training that still involves social distancing measures being put in place: “We’re dealing pretty well with it. It’s always nice to spend some time at home with your family, but you start getting a bit bored after a few weeks. You want to go back, to train and to play.
“[I was training at home on] the treadmill, weights, those sorts of things. Luckily I have a garden and I can also work out outside.
“On my first day of training, after two months, it felt like coming back after a week and I hadn’t lost anything. So that was good, and that’s why I feel prepared for what’s coming.
“Of course, there’s a protocol we have to follow. The first week more than anything was a bit weird.
“At least I was training with the goalkeeping coach but he couldn’t shoot or pass or anything. So that was a bit strange to start with but then we got used to it.
“The goalkeeping work I’ve been doing has been the same as I’ve been doing for the last 11 years as a professional so luckily that hasn’t really changed. We’re really looking forward to playing games in training, 11 against 11, everyone smiling, without these problems. But we’re going bit by bit.”
On taking in the kind of break that top talents rarely get given due to their domestic and international commitments, Courtois added: “At the end of the day, I’ve rested for two months, which is almost impossible the rest of the time.
“There are never two months during the season where you aren’t exposed to that constant stress and adrenaline. Which is cool, too, because being a football player and playing in stadiums and playing those big games, the adrenaline and the pressure in your body is addictive and we like it. It pushes you to perform better.
“But having two months to rest a little bit and to work on your body in order to improve your physical condition has been of great help.”
La Liga president Javier Tebas has said that he hopes to see the current campaign get underway again on June 11, allowing for the 2020-21 season to start on September 12.