After UEFA ruled that loaned goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois would be allowed to play for Atletico Madrid against his parent club, Chelsea FC fans felt they had been wronged. The club and its fan the believed that agreed clause (that he would play against Chelsea for a fee) in the loan agreement should have been enforced. However, there is precedent for loanees to play against their parent clubs in the Champions League.
In fact, it happened in the qualifying rounds of this year’s competition. Celtic FC had loaned striker Mohamed Bangura to Swedish club Elfsborg for the 2013 season. Both clubs won the championship in their respective leagues and met in the 3rd qualifying round of the Champions League. Leading up to the first match, Celtic manager Neil Lennon warned Bangura not play because it would damage future opportunities at the Scottish club. Nonetheless, he played and was subjected to loud boos at the away leg while missing a good chance in the 2nd leg. In the end, Elfsborg was eliminated from the competition. When Bangura returned to Celtic, he managed to repair his relationship with the manager but never found his form and was released in late January 2014.
Nine years earlier in the 2004 Champions League quarter-finals, a loanee would actually help knock out his parent club. Fernando Morientes had helped lead Real Madrid to three Champions League titles, but was marginalized once the Galacticos started arriving. Just before the transfer window closed in 2003, he was loaned to the French club Monaco. When the two clubs met, he scored a goal in each leg as Real Madrid was knocked-out by the away goals rule. The French club reached the final where they lost to Porto who was managed by future Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
It should be noted that Chelsea only inserted this unusual clause after Courtois played well against them in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup. He made several good saves in the game in the 4-1 blowout. In recent weeks, it has been mentioned that Chelsea FC may finally use him next season. Courtois has also mentioned that he will make his decision about his future when the season is over. Chelsea FC fans are hoping he sees the opportunities that lay ahead at the London Club.
Sources: Daily Record, ESPN UK
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Tags: Atletico Madrid Barclay's Premier League Celtic FC Champions League Chelsea FC Chelsea Football Club Elfsborg Fernando Morientes Galacticos Jose Mourinho Mohamed Bangura Monaco Neil Lennon Porto Real Madrid Thibaut Courtois