Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois is a Belgian professional footballer who plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid and the Belgian national team. He was born on 11th May 1992 and hails from the city of Bree in Belgium. He plays as a goalkeeper.
He has been described as an excellent shot-stopper having fantastic positioning, great composure, good command of his area and an exceptional reach. Standing at 6’6”, he is confident when dealing with crosses and excels in the air, but he is sometimes led down by his tall physique as it becomes difficult for him to get down on the ground quickly. Courtois is okay with his feet and does not possess the best range of passing.
He began playing football at the age of five for his local club Blitzen V.V. He did not have a specific playing position in those early days, which was usual at that young age. However he was predominantly used in the left-back position.
He was offered a trial from Racing Genk after impressing their scouts and joined their youth team. He found his true calling as a goalkeeper when he was deployed between the sticks in an under-9 tournament in which he was adjudged as the best goalkeeper.
Coming through the ranks of Genk, he had a strong rivalry with Koen Casteels who was the same age, but was considered a better talent and had been called up for the youth national side.
He was first called up for the senior Belgian side in October 2011, for a friendly match against Slovenia. He made his debut a month later on 15th November 2011, in a friendly match against France. He had a great debut as he kept a clean sheet, but Belgium drew the match 0-0.
Since then, he established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper of Belgium and has never looked back.
Rise to Glory
Considered an exciting prospect from a very young age, he was always under the spotlight since his breakthrough season with Genk. In the 2010-11 season with Genk, he received the Best Goalkeeper of Year in the league and was voted Genk’s best player, as he conceded only 32 goals from 40 games.
Courtois has played senior club football for Racing Genk, Atletico Madrid and Chelsea.
He became a world-class goalkeeper during his time with Atletico Madrid winning major silverware and was very highly-rated.
At Chelsea, he has been keeping up his level of performances but every mistake is studied with a magnifying glass in the Premier League, and has a mixed review from the supporters and pundits alike.
Courtois won the Belgian Pro League with Genk. He won the UEFA Europa League and the La Liga with Atletico Madrid. With Chelsea, he has won the English Premier League twice, the FA Cup and the English League Cup.