We already knew Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois would be free to face Chelsea after UEFA quashed an “unsportsmanslike” clause in his loan deal that could’ve prohibited the backstop from facing his parent club.
Now Courtois’ task to best Chelsea may have become a bit less laborious, as the Blues announced that forward Samuel Eto’o would be unavailable to play against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the clubs’ UEFA Champions League semifinal on Tuesday.
Eto’o has scored 12 times across 29 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, including four goals in his last six matches. The 33-year-old has a knee injury and did not travel to Spain. Eto’o was also linked with a move to Besiktas in The Daily Mail.
One of the biggest subplots was whether Courtois would be allowed to suit up for his current Spanish club against the British club that owns his rights.
Courtois is in his third-year on loan from Chelsea, and was the subject of intense speculation after reports surfaced that Atletico would have to pay more than $8 million to use the keeper against his parent club. UEFA put a stop to that with a statement earlier this month.