Thibaut courtois Wife, Height, Kids, Injury, Chelsea & More

Belgian footballer (born 1992)

Thibaut Courtois

Courtois lining up for Belgium at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois
Date of birth (1992-05-11) 11 May 1992 (age 30)
Place of birth Bree, Belgium
Height 199 m (6 ft 6 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 1
Youth career
1997–1999 Bilzen VV
1999–2009 Genk
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2011 Genk 41 (0)
2011–2018 Chelsea 126 (0)
2011–2014 → Atlético Madrid (loan) 111 (0)
2018– Real Madrid 145 (0)
National team
2009–2010 Belgium U18 4 (0)
2011– Belgium 98 (0)
Honours
Men’s football
Representing  Belgium
FIFA World Cup
2018
Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 22:25, 10 November 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 21:10, 23 November 2022 (UTC)

Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois (born 11 May 1992) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for La Liga club Real Madrid and the Belgium national team He is considered one of the best goalkeepers in world football

Courtois progressed through the youth system of Genk, and at age 18, he played a key role in the team’s Belgian Pro League victory In July 2011, he joined Chelsea for a reported £8 million, and was immediately loaned to Atlético Madrid In three seasons there, he won the Europa League in 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2013, and the La Liga title in 2014 He also won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy as the best goalkeeper in La Liga for his performances in his two latter seasons Courtois returned to Chelsea in July 2014, and in his first season he helped them win the League Cup and the Premier League title Two years later, he won the Premier League Golden Glove as Chelsea again won the league In 2018, Real Madrid signed Courtois for £35 million, becoming La Liga’s most expensive goalkeeper, surpassing the record set by Jan Oblak He won a second La Liga title and a third Zamora trophy in 2020 In 2022, he won a third La Liga title and first UEFA Champions League title

Courtois made his senior international debut in October 2011, becoming the youngest goalkeeper to represent Belgium He has since earned over ninety caps and appeared at the FIFA World Cup in 2014, 2018 and 2022, and the UEFA European Championship in 2016 and 2020; he was awarded the Golden Glove in 2018 as the best goalkeeper of the tournament, with Belgium finishing third

Club career

Early career

Courtois was born in the city of Bree in Flanders, to a Walloon father and a Flemish mother He began his career with local side Bilzen VV, as a left back Soon after, in 1999, he joined Racing Genk at the age of seven, and it was there that he was converted into a goalkeeper

Genk

Courtois with Genk during the 2010–11 season

Courtois progressed through the Genk youth system, where Koen Casteels was initially regarded as the primary goalkeeper, but during an injury crisis Courtois, aged 16 years and 341 days, made his first team debut on 17 April 2009 against Gent After turning down a transfer to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim of the Bundesliga, Courtois was made first-choice goalkeeper for the 2010–11 season ahead of Casteels, when Laszlo Koteles’ registration ran into issues

He was a key figure in Genk’s title victory in the 2010–11 season in the Belgian Pro League He received the Goalkeeper of the Year and Genk’s Player of the Year award, only conceding 32 goals over the course of 40 league matches and keeping 14 clean sheets for Genk

Chelsea

In July 2011 Courtois joined Premier League club Chelsea for a reported €9 million, signing a five-year deal

Loan to Atlético Madrid

Courtois playing for Atlético Madrid in 2013

Within weeks of joining Chelsea, Courtois was sent on a season-long loan to Atlético Madrid

2011–12 season

Courtois made his debut for Atlético in a 4–0 UEFA Europa League victory over Vitória de Guimarães on 25 August, and three days later kept a clean sheet on his La Liga debut, a goalless draw against Osasuna at the Vicente Calderón Stadium Courtois became first-choice goalkeeper over Sergio Asenjo, keeping four clean sheets in his first six La Liga games On 26 November 2011, Courtois received his first red card of his professional career after fouling Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema for a penalty in the Madrid derby Cristiano Ronaldo put the penalty past substitute goalkeeper Asenjo as Atlético lost 1–4 Atlético reached the 2012 UEFA Europa League Final, and Courtois kept a clean sheet as the club won 3–0 over fellow Spanish side Athletic Bilbao

2012–13 season

Courtois’ loan to Atlético was extended to cover the 2012–13 season His first game of the loan extension was against parent club Chelsea in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup final in Monaco, which ended in a 4–1 victory for Atlético Madrid Later in the season Courtois set a new Atlético Madrid record of 820 minutes without conceding a goal at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, ended by being beaten in a 1–0 loss to Real Sociedad Atlético reached the 2013 Copa del Rey Final, and Courtois was named man of the match in a 2–1 victory against Real, the first time that Atlético had beaten their city rivals in 14 years

2013–14 season

For the 2013–14 season, Courtois loan to Atlético was extended by a further 12 months

When Atlético were drawn to play Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, it was reported that a clause in Courtois’ contract required Atlético to pay Chelsea €3 million per match if they selected him against his parent club, and that Atlético could not afford such a sum UEFA made it clear that considerations of sporting integrity made such a clause “null, void and unenforceable”, and confirmed that Atlético were free to select Courtois without making any such payment

By conceding the fewest goals in a substantial number of matches during the 2013–14 season, Courtois won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy and made an important contribution to Atletico’s 2013–14 La Liga title, their first since 1996 He was nominated for the La Liga Award for the best goalkeeper in the league, alongside Willy Caballero of Málaga CF and Keylor Navas of Levante UD, which Navas eventually won Atletico, however, lost the UEFA Champions League Final 1–4 aet against neighbours Real Madrid on 24 May in Lisbon

Return to Chelsea

2014–15 season

Courtois playing for Chelsea in 2014

In June 2014, Chelsea manager José Mourinho confirmed that Courtois would return to Chelsea for the upcoming season He was assigned the number 13 kit number, last worn by Victor Moses On 18 August, Mourinho announced that Courtois would start the Premier League opener against Burnley in place of Petr Čech Although he conceded the first goal to Scott Arfield at Turf Moor, Chelsea won 3–1 Courtois kept his first Premier League clean sheet in his second game, making several crucial saves in a 2–0 home win over Leicester City

On 11 September 2014, Courtois signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, keeping him at the club until 2019 Upon signing Courtois said: “It’s really nice to have signed this new contract for five years”

Courtois suffered a head injury in the first half of Chelsea’s 2–0 home win over Arsenal on 5 October due to a collision with Alexis Sánchez; he was substituted and then taken to hospital He was then treated for a minor cut to his ear and released from hospital that night

He won his first trophy with Chelsea on 1 March 2015, as they defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 in the League Cup Final, with Čech instead playing in that match; Chelsea also finished the season as league champions

2015–16 season

Courtois playing for Chelsea in 2015

Courtois opened the season by playing in the 2015 FA Community Shield on 2 August, a 1–0 loss to Arsenal Six days later, as the Premier League campaign opened with a home fixture against Swansea City, he was given a straight red card for conceding a penalty with a foul on Bafétimbi Gomis, who converted the penalty past replacement Asmir Begović for a 2–2 draw On his return on 23 August, Courtois saved a penalty from James Morrison in a 3–2 win at West Bromwich Albion Courtois suffered a leg injury in training on 11 September which required surgery and meant that he was expected to miss the next three months of competition

On 16 April, he was sent off at home to Manchester City for conceding a penalty with a foul on Fernandinho; Sergio Agüero converted it past Begović to seal a 3–0 win He became the sixth Premier League goalkeeper to be sent off twice in the same season

2016–17 season

On 17 August 2016, Courtois dismissed any transfer rumours and stated he would stay at Chelsea for many years to come Ten days later in the 3–0 home victory over Burnley, Courtois kept the first clean sheet of the season and broke a run of thirteen home Premier League games without a clean sheet since November 2015 From 1 October to 20 November, Chelsea earned a run of six games without conceding a single goal; with Courtois playing in all six of them From 11 to 26 December, Courtois kept four clean sheets, as Chelsea were at the top of table in time for Christmas

In April 2017, Courtois was ruled out for the match against rivals Manchester United, as a result of suffering a reported ankle injury, which he sustained in training Chelsea would go on to lose the match 0–2 On 12 May 2017, Courtois kept his third consecutive clean sheet in a 1–0 away win over West Bromwich Albion, in which Chelsea secured the title Courtois also played for Chelsea in the FA Cup Final; which Chelsea lost 2–1 to Arsenal

Courtois kept a total of 16 clean sheets in the Premier League and won the Golden Glove

Real Madrid

Courtois playing for Real Madrid in 2019

Following the 2017–18 season, Courtois mentioned he would want to live closer to his children, reigniting the rumours about a transfer to Real Madrid After a strong performance at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he won the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper, Courtois expressed his interest in moving on Chelsea stated they would not let him go unless they were able to find a replacement for him Courtois responded by not showing up for training after the summer break, trying to force his exit from Chelsea On 8 August 2018, Real Madrid announced that they had signed Courtois on a six-year contract A day later, Chelsea confirmed the transfer for a fee believed to be £35 million

He made his debut for Madrid on 1 September 2018, where he started in a 4–1 win over CD Leganés

On 12 January 2020, Real Madrid beat Atlético Madrid in a penalty shootout to win their eleventh Supercopa de España title In the shootout, Saul saw his spot-kick hit the post before Thomas’ effort was saved by Courtois, giving Ramos the chance to secure Real’s 11th Spanish Super Cup triumph

On 5 July 2020, Courtois kept his 17th clean sheet of the 2019–20 La Liga season in a 1–0 away win over Athletic Bilbao, becoming the first Real Madrid goalkeeper to do so in a single season since Francisco Buyo in 1994–95 He was the undisputed starter during the league season, as Real Madrid won the 2019–20 La Liga, becoming the first player since Jose Luis Perez-Paya in 1954 to be crowned champion with both Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid He won the Zamora Trophy for the third time in his career, after conceding just 20 goals in 34 matches

On 16 August 2021, he signed a new four-year contract, running until 2026 Courtois won his second Spanish title with Real Madrid in the 2021–22 La Liga season

On 28 May 2022, Courtois was named man of the match in the 2022 UEFA Champions League Final, where he managed to make a total of nine saves, which helped Real Madrid to beat Liverpool 1–0 Courtois’ nine saves are a record in the final since Opta began keeping records in 2003–04 His 59 saves during the campaign also set a new Champions League single-season record since Opta began keeping records

International career

Early career

Courtois was first called up to the Belgium squad in October 2011 and made his debut the following month in a friendly 0–0 draw against France at the Stade de France, making him the youngest goalkeeper to play for the Belgian national team

2014 World Cup

Courtois played every minute during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, as Belgium qualified for its first major tournament since the 2002 FIFA World Cup Throughout these qualifiers, he kept six clean sheets in ten matches

On 13 May 2014, Courtois was named in the squad to go to the 2014 FIFA World Cup At the tournament, he played all five games of the Belgian team, starting with a 2–1 win against Algeria in Belo Horizonte Courtois then managed to keep consecutive clean sheets in 1–0 wins against Russia and South Korea as the Red Devils reached the quarter-finals

Euro 2016

Courtois played every minute during Belgium’s first eight games of their UEFA Euro 2016 qualification campaign, helping seal qualification for the first time in 16 years However, he missed their last two games due to injury

Courtois and his side made it to the quarter-final, where they lost to Wales despite taking an early lead Afterwards, Courtois hinted that Belgium coach Marc Wilmots was at fault for the loss and also stated that the defeat was the “biggest disappointment” of his career

2018 World Cup

Courtois (far left) with Belgium at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Courtois was selected to Belgium’s final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup He was Belgium’s first-choice goalkeeper throughout the tournament, and played a key role in Belgium’s 2–1 win over Brazil in the quarter-final, which saw Belgium advance to the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time since 1986 He posted two clean sheets in the group stage (against Panama and England), allowed only one goal in Belgium’s loss to eventual champion France in the semi-final, and posted another clean sheet against England in the 3rd place game Courtois made 27 saves in seven World Cup games, more than any other goalkeeper He was awarded the Golden Glove as best goalkeeper of the tournament

UEFA Euro 2020

On 17 May 2021, he was selected to the final squad for the UEFA Euro 2020

Style of play

Courtois making a save during the quarter-final match v Brazil, which Belgium won 2–1

Considered a highly promising prospect in his youth, Courtois subsequently established himself as one of the best players in the world in his position Due to his wide range of skills, he has been described as a “complete goalkeeper”, with few weaknesses A consistent keeper, he possesses an excellent positional sense, good mentality, composure, strength of character, and an ability to communicate well with his defenders; he also excels in one on one situations, due to his ability to time his runs effectively when rushing out of goal to face opponents, and has even functioned as a sweeper-keeper on occasion An excellent shot-stopper between the posts, he has also distinguished himself for his agility and quick reflexes, in spite of his size and imposing physique During the 2016–17 season, he credited his goalkeeping coach with Chelsea under manager Antonio Conte, Gianluca Spinelli, for helping him to improve his overall game and goalkeeping technique, in particular his foot-work and diving, which enabled him to be more explosive and get to ground more quickly Due to his height and reach, he excels in the air, and is also known for his command of his area, as well as his excellent technique, anticipation, handling, and confidence when coming off his line to claim crosses Moreover, he is known for his ability to distribute the ball to his teammates with long throws

Outside football

Personal life

Courtois speaks both Dutch and French, as well as Spanish and English

Thibaut’s older sister Valérie Courtois is a volleyball player who plays as a libero for Stade Français Paris Saint Cloud and Belgium His parents were volleyball players, and he played the sport in his childhood but decided to focus on football when he was 12

On 26 May 2015, his Spanish girlfriend Marta Domínguez gave birth to their daughter, Adriana The couple ended their relationship in April 2017 while Domínguez was pregnant with their son Nicolás, who was born a month later

He has been in a relationship with Israeli model Mishel Gerzig, since July 2021 They adopted a dog together a month later In June 2022, they got engaged

In popular culture

Inspired by Courtois’ pose from a particular save in January 2013, a Colombian fan created a new widespread social media meme called ‘Thibauting’ to pay homage to the Belgian goalkeeper In November 2013, the word was included in a shortlist composed by leading Dutch dictionary Van Dale to be polled to determine the best new sports/amusement word of the year in Belgium, and ended second The term is based on and pronounced the same way as “Tebowing”, and is also similar to the worldwide ‘planking’ meme which was popular in 2011

In 2021, Courtois participated in the 2021 F1 Virtual Grand Prix championship as an Alfa Romeo driver

Controversies

In February 2014, Courtois caused some stir in the national team, by saying of Simon Mignolet, his rival for the starting goalkeeper spot, “You have to know how to stay humble and respectful, and he should remember that” This was despite the fact that in previous interviews, Mignolet had only said that it was his ambition to keep working and try to regain his spot in the national team

In April 2018, Wilmots, by then out of a job, accused Courtois and his father Thierry of leaking Belgium’s line-ups before they should have been revealed to the public He denied the allegations

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 10 November 2022
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup League cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Genk 2008–09 Belgian First Division 1 0 0 0 1 0
2009–10 Belgian Pro League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010–11 Belgian Pro League 40 0 1 0 3 0 44 0
Total 41 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 45 0
Atlético Madrid (loan) 2011–12 La Liga 37 0 0 0 15 0 52 0
2012–13 La Liga 37 0 8 0 0 0 1 0 46 0
2013–14 La Liga 37 0 5 0 12 0 2 0 56 0
Total 111 0 13 0 27 0 3 0 154 0
Chelsea 2014–15 Premier League 32 0 0 0 2 0 5 0 39 0
2015–16 Premier League 23 0 3 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 30 0
2016–17 Premier League 36 0 3 0 0 0 39 0
2017–18 Premier League 35 0 1 0 1 0 8 0 1 0 46 0
Total 126 0 7 0 3 0 16 0 2 0 154 0
Real Madrid 2018–19 La Liga 27 0 1 0 5 0 2 0 35 0
2019–20 La Liga 34 0 0 0 7 0 2 0 43 0
2020–21 La Liga 38 0 0 0 12 0 1 0 51 0
2021–22 La Liga 36 0 1 0 13 0 2 0 52 0
2022–23 La Liga 10 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 15 0
Total 145 0 2 0 41 0 8 0 196 0
Career total 423 0 23 0 3 0 87 0 13 0 549 0

International

Belgium defend against a Serbian corner during a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier

As of match played 23 November 2022
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Belgium 2011 1 0
2012 6 0
2013 7 0
2014 13 0
2015 6 0
2016 14 0
2017 8 0
2018 15 0
2019 9 0
2020 2 0
2021 13 0
2022 4 0
Total 98 0

Honours

Courtois and Petr Čech lifting the 2015 League Cup trophy

Genk

  • Belgian Pro League: 2010–11

Atlético Madrid

  • La Liga: 2013–14
  • Copa del Rey: 2012–13
  • UEFA Europa League: 2011–12
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2012
  • UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2013–14

Chelsea

  • Premier League: 2014–15, 2016–17
  • FA Cup: 2017–18; runner-up: 2016–17
  • Football League Cup: 2014–15

Real Madrid

  • La Liga: 2019–20, 2021–22
  • Supercopa de España: 2019–20, 2021–22
  • UEFA Champions League: 2021–22
  • UEFA Super Cup: 2022
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 2018

Belgium

  • FIFA World Cup third place: 2018

Individual

Courtois (left) receiving the Premier League Golden Glove award following Chelsea’s 5–1 win over Sunderland, 2017

  • Belgian Professional Goalkeeper of the Year: 2011
  • Belgian Bronze Shoe: 2011
  • La Liga Zamora Trophy: 2012–13, 2013–14, 2019–20
  • La Liga Goalkeeper of the Season: 2012–13
  • La Liga Player of the Month: January 2020, February 2022
  • Best Belgian Player Abroad: 2013, 2014
  • ESM Team of the Year: 2013–14, 2021–22
  • UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2013–14, 2020–21
  • UEFA Champions League Team of the Season: 2021–22
  • Belgian Sportsman of the year: 2014
  • Premier League Golden Glove: 2016–17
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Glove: 2018
  • FIFA World Cup Fantasy Team: 2018
  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2018
  • The Best FIFA Goalkeeper: 2018
  • IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper: 2018
  • IFFHS Men’s World Team: 2018
  • La Liga Team of the Season: 2021–22
  • Yashin Trophy: 2022

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