Thibaut Courtois: Player Profile

La Liga’s Best Between The Sticks Aiming For Glory

Personal information 
Full name: Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois
Date of birth: 11 May 1992
Age: 21
Place of birth: Bree, Belgium
Height: 1.99 m (6 ft 6 in)
Playing position: Goalkeeper

Club information
Current club: Atletico Madrid
(on loan from Chelsea)
Number: 13

Youth career 
1997–1999: Bilzen V.V.
1999–2009: Genk

Senior career 
2009–2011: Genk 45 Appearances
2011– Chelsea 0 Appearances
2011→ Atletico Madrid (loan) 152 Appearances

National team
2009–2010: Belgium U18 4 Appearances
2011– Belgium 15 Appearances

Thibaut Courtois has been absolutely brilliant between the sticks this season for Atletico Madrid. The on-loan Chelsea shot-stopper has only been beaten 23 times out of 36 La Liga games.

He missed his club's defeat against Almería, and therefore his personal average is just 0.63 goals conceded per game.

With just one game to be played before the curtain comes down on the present campaign, Thibaut Courtois is the goalkeeper that has received the fewest goals in La Liga. Next best is Diego Lopez, who has been scored against 32 times from 34 games, conceding an average of 0.94 goals per match.

With the title of the least-scored-against shot-stopper in La Liga (or 'Zamora' as it is known in Spain, in memory of the famous keeper, Ricardo Zamora) already under his belt for the second year running, Courtois is also very close to achieving the same in the Champions League.

His stats are much the same as in La Liga, having only had to fish the ball out of the back of the net on six occasions from 11 matches (an average of 0.54 goals per game).

Casillas, who will be the man between the sticks against Atletico in the Lisbon final, has let in nine goals from 12 matches. Courtois once again has the best figures - something he is getting used to.

Only a complete and utter catastrophe on 24th May, something unlikely considering Atlético's formidable defensive abilities, would rob Courtois of also winning the symbolic 'Zamora' in the Champions League.

Born on 11 May 1992 in Bree, Belgium, the transfer of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Chelsea on a five-year contract from Racing Genk was completed in July 2011.

It was then agreed he would be loaned to Atletico Madrid for the 2011/12 season, where he enjoyed an impressive campaign, making 52 appearances and collecting a Europa League winners' medal after helping his side to a 3-0 victory in the final against Athletic Bilbao.

The loan was extended for a further 12 months to cover the 2012/13 season, in which Courtois once again impressed.

He helped his loan side beat Chelsea in the Super Cup in Monaco and they competed with Barcelona and Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, eventually finishing third.

Courtois and colleagues were however celebrating after the Spanish cup final. He made significant saves in a 2-1 win over Real at the Bernabeu.

The same month he picked up the Ricardo Zamora award which is given to the goalkeeper in the Spanish Primera Liga with the best goals conceded per game ratio.

He let in just 30 in 37 league matches and also set new club records for minutes without conceding at home and away.

By the end of his second season he had made 98 appearances in all competitions for Atletico. In June 2013 it was announced he is to spend a third season on loan at the Madrid club.

With Atletico challenging at the top of the Spanish League as 2014 commenced, Courtois won an award for best Belgian playing abroad in 2013.

At his previous club, Racing Genk, he was part of the team that won the 2010/11 Belgian league title, the club's first championship in nine years.

It was the young keeper's first season as a regular. The year before the club had finished 11th. The young goalkeeper's contribution earned him the accolades of Belgian Goalkeeper of the Year and Genk's Player of the Year.

The team conceded 32 goals over the course of 40 league matches. At the start of that season he played against Andre Villas-Boas's Porto side, the tie a qualifier for the Europa League which the Portuguese side went on to win.

He first joined Genk at the age of eight and originally played at left-back, switching to between the posts when in the 10/11 age group.

He progressed through the youth ranks and made his league debut in April 2009 when aged just 16. He had moved into the squad during the winter break when two keepers departed Genk.

At the start of the 2010/11 season, Genk's number one goalkeeper had problems with his work licence so Courtois started and when he did well, he kept his place, showing calmness under pressure that belied his years.

The league championship was decided in the final play-off game, against Standard Liege who needed to win to be champions. Genk required a draw to win it. With the score 1-1, Courtois made three good saves in the last 10 minutes.

Courtois, who is 6ft 6in tall, made his debut for the Belgian national side in November 2011 against France, becoming the youngest ever goalkeeper to play for Belgium.

He has since established himself as first-choice 'keeper for the national side and played a pivotal role as they booked their place at next summer's World Cup, the first time Belgium have qualified since 2002.

Atletico Madrid’s Sporting director Jose Luis Caminero says the Spanish club are confident a deal can be worked out with Chelsea regarding the future of shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois.

Courtois has already lifted the Europa League, UEFA Super Cup and Copa del Rey in his three seasons on loan in Madrid, and is yet to make his first-team debut for Chelsea.

It's understood Chelsea are working on extending Courtois' contract, which could see him triple his pay to around £175,000-a-week.

The 21-year-old has still got a year to run on his current deal, but the Blues want to see him extend his stay with the Stamford Bridge outfit until 2018.