Thibaut Courtois is a professional footballer from Belgium, born on May 11, 1992, who currently plays as a goalkeeper for Real Madrid in La Liga as well as the Belgium national team. Thibaut Courtois biography highlights him as one of the most talented goalkeepers in the world, well-known for his exceptional reflexes, acrobatic saves, and ability to control the penalty area.
Courtois started his football journey by progressing through the youth system of Genk, where he played a crucial role in the team’s victory in the Belgian Pro League at the age of 18.
In July 2011, Chelsea signed Courtois for £8 million, and he was loaned to Atletico Madrid immediately. During his three-year stay there, he helped his team win the Europa League in 2012, the Copa del Rey in 2013, and the La Liga title in 2014. Courtois won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy as the best goalkeeper in La Liga in his last two seasons with Atletico Madrid.
After returning to Chelsea in July 2014, he helped the team win the League Cup and the Premier League title in his first season. Two years later, he won the Premier League Golden Glove as Chelsea claimed the league title once again. In 2018, Real Madrid signed Courtois for £35 million, making him the most expensive goalkeeper in La Liga’s history at the time.
In 2022, he won his third La Liga title and first UEFA Champions League title. Courtois made his senior international debut for Belgium in October 2011, becoming the youngest goalkeeper ever to represent the country.
Everything to Know about Thibaut Courtois
We’re going to go over some general information and Thibaut Courtois stats in 2023 before we talk about his development over the years and Thibaut Courtois biography overall.
- Thibaut Courtois Real Name: Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois
- Thibaut Courtois Age: 30 years old
- Thibaut Courtois Height: 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)
- Thibaut Courtois Nationality: Belgian
- Thibaut Courtois Current Team: Real Madrid, Belgium national team
- Thibaut Courtois Position: Goalkeeper
- Thibaut Courtois All-Time Appearances: 563
- Thibaut Courtois All-Time Goals Conceded: 525
- Thibaut Courtois All-Time Clean Sheets: 231
- Thibaut Courtois 2022/2023 Season Appearances: 29
- Thibaut Courtois 2022/2023 Season Goals Conceded: 29
- Thibaut Courtois 2022/2023 Season Clean Sheets: 9
Thibaut Courtois Club Career
We will start with his years in different football clubs, from the very beginning to the present time in 2023.
Starting at Bilzen V.V.
As part of Thibaut Courtois biography, you should know that Courtois was born in Bree, Flanders, to a Walloon father and a Flemish mother, something to keep in mind regarding Thibaut Courtois’s family. He initially started playing as a left-back for Bilzen V.V. but later switched to the goalkeeper position when he joined Racing Genk at the age of seven.
Despite Koen Casteels being the primary goalkeeper, Courtois made his debut for the team at the age of 16 during an injury crisis. He turned down a transfer to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and became Genk’s first-choice goalkeeper in the 2010-11 season.
Courtois played a crucial role in Genk’s title victory that season, receiving the Goalkeeper of the Year and Genk’s Player of the Year award. He conceded 32 goals and kept 14 clean sheets in 40 league matches.
Joining Atletico Madrid on Loan
Thibaut Courtois’ transfer to Chelsea in July 2011 for a reported €9 million was followed by a season-long loan to Atletico Madrid. Shortly after joining Atletico, Courtois made his debut in a 4-0 UEFA Europa League victory over Vitoria de Guimaraes, followed by a clean sheet in his La Liga debut three days later.
In Thibaut Courtois life story, we can see that Courtois quickly established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper over Sergio Asenjo, keeping four clean sheets in his first six La Liga games.
However, he received his first red card in a Madrid derby against Real Madrid on 26 November 2011, fouling Karim Benzema for a penalty which Cristiano Ronaldo scored past substitute goalkeeper Asenjo, leading to a 1-4 loss for Atletico.
Courtois played a key role in Atletico’s successful campaign in the 2012 UEFA Europa League, where he kept a clean sheet in the final as Atletico won 3-0 against Athletic Bilbao.
Deciding to Stay with Atletico
Thibaut Courtois extended his loan with Atletico Madrid to cover the 2012-2013 season after joining the club on a season-long loan from Chelsea. He helped Atletico beat Chelsea 4-1 in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup and, later in the season, set a new Atletico Madrid record of 820 minutes without conceding a goal at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Atletico won the 2013 Copa del Rey Final, with Courtois named Man of the Match in a 2-1 victory against Real Madrid. Courtois’ loan to Atletico was extended for another year for the 2013-2014 season.
During this season, he won the Zamora Trophy for conceding the fewest goals in a substantial number of matches and played a key role in Atletico’s La Liga title victory. Although he was nominated for the La Liga Award for Best Goalkeeper, he did not win, another interesting fact in Thibaut Courtois biography.
In the same season, Atletico reached the UEFA Champions League final but lost 1-4 to Real Madrid in extra time. There was a reported clause in Courtois’ contract that would require Atletico to pay Chelsea €3 million per match if they selected him against his parent club, but UEFA confirmed that the clause was unenforceable.
Back to Chelsea
To continue Thibaut Courtois’ biography, in June 2014, Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinho confirmed Courtois’ return to the club for the following season. Courtois was given the number 13 kit, which was last worn by Victor Moses.
Courtois made his Premier League debut for Chelsea against Burnley in August 2014, where they won 3-1 despite conceding the first goal. He then kept his first Premier League clean sheet in a 2-0 win over Leicester City. In September 2014, Courtois signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, committing to the club until 2019.
However, in October 2014, he suffered a head injury during Chelsea’s match against Arsenal, which caused him to be substituted and taken to the hospital. Nonetheless, Courtois won his first trophy with Chelsea in March 2015 as they won the League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur. Moreover, Chelsea was crowned as league champions that season.
To begin the 2015-2016 season in Thibaut Courtois biography, Courtois played in the FA Community Shield match against Arsenal on August 2, which ended in a 1-0 loss. He was then given a red card for a foul on Bafetimbi Gomis during a game against Swansea City on August 8, causing him to miss the next game due to suspension.
Upon his return, Courtois saved a penalty in a 3-2 win against West Bromwich Albion on August 23. However, he suffered a leg injury in training on September 11, which required surgery and kept him out of competition for the following three months.
On April 16, he received another red card for a foul on Fernandinho during a match against Manchester City, causing him to become the sixth Premier League goalkeeper to receive two red cards in one season.
His Last Season at Chelsea
Thibaut Courtois put an end to any transfer speculations on August 17, 2016 and expressed his intention to remain with Chelsea for a long time, one of the facts we decided to include in Thibaut Courtois biography. Just ten days after his statement, he secured the first clean sheet of the season in a 3-0 home triumph over Burnley, ending a run of 13 consecutive home Premier League games without a clean sheet dating back to November 2015.
From October 1 to November 20, he played a vital role in Chelsea’s six-game run without conceding a single goal. Between December 11 and 26, he maintained four clean sheets as Chelsea led the table at Christmas.
In April 2017, Courtois was absent from Chelsea’s game against rivals Manchester United due to an ankle injury he sustained during training. Chelsea went on to lose the game 0-2. On May 12, 2017, he recorded his third successive clean sheet in a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, which sealed Chelsea’s title win. Courtois also played for Chelsea in the FA Cup final, which Arsenal won 2-1.
During the Premier League season, Courtois kept 16 clean sheets, earning him the Golden Glove award.
Life at Real Madrid
In Thibaut Courtois biography, it is stated that after the 2017-18 season, Courtois expressed his desire to be closer to his children, sparking rumors about a possible transfer to Real Madrid.
Despite winning the Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and showing his interest in moving on, Chelsea insisted they would not let him go unless they found a replacement.
In an attempt to force his exit, Courtois did not show up for training after the summer break. On 8 August 2018, Real Madrid announced that they had signed Courtois on a six-year deal, with Chelsea confirming the transfer a day later for a fee believed to be around £35 million. Courtois made his debut for Real Madrid on 1 September 2018, starting in a 4-1 win over Leganes.
In Thibaut Courtois biography, it is noted that on 12 January 2020, Real Madrid won their eleventh Supercopa de Espana title after defeating Atletico Madrid in a penalty shootout. Courtois played a crucial role in the shootout, saving Thomas’ penalty and giving Sergio Ramos a chance to secure the title.
Later on 5 July 2020, Courtois made history by becoming the first Real Madrid goalkeeper since Francisco Buyo in 1994-95 to keep 17 clean sheets in a single La Liga season during their 1-0 away win over Athletic Bilbao.
He played as the main goalkeeper throughout the league season, helping Real Madrid win La Liga and becoming the first player since Jose Luis Perez-Paya in 1954 to win the league with both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Additionally, he won the Zamora Trophy for the third time in his career by only conceding 20 goals in 34 matches.
Recent Years with Los Blancos
We can see in Thibaut Courtois biography that he signed a new four-year contract with Real Madrid on 16 August 2021, which will expire in 2026. On 6 February 2022, he achieved his 100th win with Real Madrid in 161 appearances after winning 1-0 against Granada. During the 2021-2022 La Liga season, he won his second Spanish title with Real Madrid.
Additionally, Courtois was awarded man of the match in the 2022 UEFA Champions League final on 28 May 2022. His impressive nine saves during the match helped Real Madrid to defeat Liverpool 1-0, and they won the trophy.
These nine saves set a new record in the final since Opta began keeping records in 2003-04. Furthermore, he also set a new record of 59 saves during the Champions League campaign, which is the most in a single season since Opta began keeping records.
His International Career
Now let’s start discussing his time with the national team of Belgium since he was only a teen.
A wonderful event in Thibaut Courtois biography is that he was selected for the Belgium national team for the first time in October 2011 and made his debut the following month in a friendly game against France, which ended in a 0-0 draw, making him the youngest goalkeeper ever to play for the Belgian national team.
Courtois played every minute of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign, helping Belgium qualify for its first major tournament in 12 years since the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and he managed to keep six clean sheets in ten matches during these qualifiers.
Courtois was named in the squad to participate in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on 13 May 2014. He played in all five of Belgium’s games at the tournament, 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, which helped the Red Devils reach the quarter-finals.
During the UEFA Euro 2016 qualification campaign, Courtois played the full duration in all of Belgium’s first eight games and played a key role in securing their first qualification in 16 years. Unfortunately, he had to sit out their last two games due to injury.
Courtois and the team made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament, but they suffered a defeat to Wales despite taking an early lead. Courtois expressed his disappointment in the loss and hinted that the Belgium coach, Marc Wilmots, was responsible for it. He also mentioned that this loss was the biggest disappointment of his career so far.
Impressing Again at the Recent Tournaments
Thibaut Courtois was included in Belgium’s final squad of 23 players for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He was the first-choice goalkeeper for Belgium and played a crucial role in their victory against Brazil in the quarter-finals, helping Belgium reach the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
Courtois kept clean sheets in two group-stage matches against Panama and England and allowed only one goal in their loss to eventual champions France in the semi-finals. He also kept another clean sheet in the third-place game against England.
A true feat in Thibaut Courtois biography is that with a total of 27 saves in seven games, Courtois had the highest number of saves of any goalkeeper in the tournament. For his impressive performance, he was awarded the Golden Glove, which is given to the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
Courtois was included in Belgium’s final squad for UEFA Euro 2020 on May 17, 2021, and was later selected for the 2022 FIFA World Cup squad in November 2022. He reached a significant milestone in his career on December 1, 2022, when he played his 100th match for Belgium, becoming the first goalkeeper from Belgium to do so, in a goalless draw against Croatia.
His Skills and Tactics
Thibaut Courtois biography describes him as a highly talented goalkeeper, who has established himself as one of the best in the world in his position. He is considered a “complete goalkeeper” due to his wide range of skills, and has few weaknesses.
He is known for his consistency, excellent positional sense, composure, and ability to communicate well with his defenders. Thibaut is also exceptional in one on one situations, and has even played as a sweeper-keeper.
Courtois is an excellent shot-stopper, agile, and has quick reflexes, despite his imposing physique. He credits his goalkeeping coach for improving his overall game and technique, particularly his footwork and diving.
Courtois excels in the air due to his height and reach, and is known for his command of his area, technique, anticipation, handling, and confidence when coming off his line. He also has a talent for distributing the ball with long throws.
Some Personal Information about Thibaut
Thibaut Courtois biography says that he is proficient in several languages, including Dutch, French, Spanish, and English. His older sister, Valerie Courtois, is a volleyball player who currently plays as a libero for Stade Francais Paris Saint Cloud and for the Belgium national team.
Thibaut Courtois’s parents were also volleyball players, and he played the sport during his childhood, but later decided to focus solely on football when he turned 12.
On May 26th, 2015, his Spanish girlfriend, Marta Dominguez, gave birth to their daughter, Adriana. However, the couple ended their relationship in April 2017 while Marta was still pregnant with their son, Nicolas, who was born a month later.
Thibaut Courtois has been in a relationship with an Israeli model named Mishel Gerzig since July 2021. They adopted a dog together just a month later. In June 2022, they got engaged to be married.
A Colombian fan was inspired by Thibaut Courtois’ pose from a save he made in January 2013, and as a result, created a new social media meme known as ‘Thibauting’ to honor the Belgian goalkeeper. This meme became widespread and gained popularity.
In November 2013, the word ‘Thibauting’ was shortlisted by the leading Dutch dictionary Van Dale to compete for the title of the best new sports/amusement word of the year in Belgium, and ended up in second place. The name ‘Thibauting’ is pronounced in the same way as “Tebowing” and is similar to the ‘planking’ meme that gained popularity in 2011.
In 2021, Thibaut Courtois took part in the 2021 F1 Virtual Grand Prix championship as a driver for Alfa Romeo.
Controversies around Him
In relation to Thibaut Courtois biography, in February 2014, there was some commotion within the national team when he commented about Simon Mignolet, his competitor for the starting goalkeeper position.
Courtois emphasized the importance of being humble and respectful, stating that Mignolet should remember that. However, Mignolet had previously expressed that his goal was to continue working hard and earn back his spot on the national team in interviews.
In April 2018, former Belgium coach Wilmots, who was no longer in his position, accused Courtois and his father Thierry of prematurely disclosing the team’s lineups to the public. Courtois denied the accusations.