The 2019/2020 LaLiga season officially kicks off on 16 August, with Barcelona traveling to face Athletic Bilbao. However, the possibility of that is still being debated upon, as the Spanish football authority received a court injunction to stop league matches being played on Fridays and Mondays.
Beyond the off-field issues, fans can look forward to another exhilarating season of top level football, with some of the best footballers on the planet battling it out in a bid to claim glory come May next year.
While a lot of the focus would be on superstar forwards and midfielders like Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard, Joao Felix and Luka Modric among others, there are a number of top quality goalkeepers in LaLiga who are sure to play a key role in deciding the fate of their respective clubs.
As the maxim goes: attacks win games, but defenses win titles and there is arguably nobody more important in the defense than the goalkeepers, as they act as the last shield at the back, protecting their goal from opposition attacks.
In LaLiga, awards are usually handed out at the end of the season to players who distinguish themselves with their performances, and one of the most prestigious of them all is the Zamora trophy.
Introduced in 1958 by Spanish publication Marca, the Zamora trophy is named after the late great Ricardo Zamora, who set himself apart from the rest with his tremendous goalkeeping displays in the 1920s and 1930s.
The trophy is handed out to the goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-game ratio, with the criteria being that the goalie in question must have played at least 28 league games over the course of the season.
With just under three weeks to go until the start of the new campaign, LaLiga goalkeepers would be gearing up to play their part in helping their clubs achieve their objectives.
In this piece, we shall be having a rundown of the top four candidates to win the Zamora trophy next season.
#4 Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Thibaut Courtois is no stranger to picking up goalkeeping accolades, having been named the The best FIFA goalkeeper in 2018, while also winning the Zamora trophy on two occasions in the past with Atletico Madrid in addition to the Premier League and World Cup Golden Gloves among other individual accomplishments.
The 27-year-old finally completed a €31m transfer to the Bernabeu after forcing his way out of Chelsea last summer and his first season at the club did not exactly go to plan, as Real Madrid endured one of their most torrid campaigns.
His claim to the Zamora prize would hardly be strengthened by the fact that Real Madrid have historically been known to be porous at the back, with the massive 46 goals conceded last season serving as proof to the same.
Courtois also has history against him, as Iker Casillas’ win in 2008 is the only time the Zamora trophy was handed to a Real Madrid goalkeeper since 1992.
However, given his immaculate shot-stopping abilities and organisation skills, we just cannot write him off.