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Thibaut Courtois bio and highlights – World Cup: Belgium’s flying star

May 25, 2014 By Emiliano Malizia

Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois was born May 11, 1992, in Bree, Belgium. The young Belgian plays as a goalkeeper for Atletico Madrid on loan from Chelsea. Despite his young age, the goalie is already the starter for the Belgium national team, defeating tough competitor Mignolet. His physique and style earned the Atleti goalkeeper the nickname of “tarantula.” 

At 6 feet and 6 inches, the promising player is perfectly built for his goalkeeping duties. Not only is he extremely tall, Courtois is also very quick and incredibly agile, virtually representing the prototype of the ultimate goalkeeper. At 19 years of age, the Belgian talent made his debut for Belgium in a friendly against France. Soon he became his country’s starting goalkeeper and was instrumental for Belgium’s qualification to the upcoming World Cup.

Thibaut Courtois started his professional career playing for Genk, until Chelsea decided to buy him in 2011. The goalie however never made an appearance with the Blues, who transferred him immediately to Atletico Madrid on loan, to allow a steady growth to the keeper. Throughout the last two seasons, the Belgian has won the Ricardo Zamora trophy, which is awarded to la Liga’s goalie with the lowest goals-to-games ratio, twice. During his first six games with Atleti, Courtois kept four clean sheets and became first choice goalkeeper over Sergio Arsenjo.

The Belgian seems to be performing better than Chelsea's current number 1

The young talent kept impressing on a consistent basis and came out strong in crucial games, like the title-winning game against Barcelona on May 17, 2014. Courtois could not emerge victorious in the recent Champions League final in Lisbon where his team was defeated by city-rivals, Real Madrid. However, it must be said that the “tarantula” should not have been expected to save any of the four goals scored by Real. Arguably, the only mistake of the night was committed by the much more experienced Casillas, on Atletico’s first goal.

Courtois compared to the best goalkeepers in the top 5 leagues

 

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