Author of a beautiful 2018 World Cup despite a defeat against France in the semi-final (1-0), Thibaut Courtois had taken the path of Real Madrid after several years of good and loyal service to Chelsea. An astonishing transfer, because the Merengues still had a solid Keylor Navas and who had been invaluable during the last three championships in the Champions League. Installed as holder by decree, he had a bad experience in his first season. Committing a few mistakes, he conceded 48 goals in 35 appearances for Real Madrid and made only 10 clean sheets. Not helped by his defense which was taking water, the Belgian was still far from his best level. He will also concede at least one goal from February 3, 2019 to September 22, 2019, or 14 games in a row without his clean sheet.
Not spared by critics, Thibaut Courtois had even seen the name of Alphonse Areola being mentioned and then competing with him. A difficult period which is clearly behind him and which even makes you smile a year and a half later. Managing to turn the situation around and by multiplying the parries, Thibaut Courtois allowed Real Madrid to win La Liga last season. With 23 clean sheets in 37 matches, he even won the Zamora Trophy, ending Jan Oblak’s 4 seasons of supremacy. Moreover, the Belgian had already won this trophy in 2013 and 2014 with Atlético de Madrid. Consolidating his starting position thanks to his performances, he was reinforced this summer since his understudy is only the young and inexperienced Andriy Lunin (22 years old).
An incredible dynamic
Apart from the Copa del Rey defeat against CD Alcoyano (2-1 after extra time), Thibaut Courtois has played in all Real Madrid matches, lining up 20 clean sheets in 46 matches. He is also the second in this area in La Liga behind Jan Oblak (16 against 17 for the Slovenian) and the two men will fight once again for the Zamora Trophy. Increasingly strong throughout the season and especially since 2021 when he allowed Real Madrid not to sink, he has conceded only 3 goals in his last 9 matches despite the absences of Dani Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Ferland Mendy and even Raphaël Varane on the majority of meetings. Proof that the confidence that has in him is also transmitted to his defense. “He’s our goalie and what he’s doing right now is phenomenal. I am very happy for him, because it is very important to have a guardian who gives you assurance, guarantees. Courtois is doing a remarkable job at the moment ”, explained his coach Zinedine Zidane after the qualification against Liverpool.
Facing Chelsea his former club, he will be keen to shine once again. Inheriting a nice 6.5 in the first leg by our editorial staff, the 28-year-old goalkeeper had disgusted his former teammates by multiplying the parries and making Timo Werner live a nightmare. Asked by Telefoot Last Sunday, he had announced his progress and thanked Zinedine Zidane his coach for the unwavering confidence that brings him: “I feel more and more important at Real Madrid. I never imagined that I could arrive in a team like that, I think about it every time I arrive at the stadium… At the beginning it was not easy, because naturally, with the respect that I have for him (Zinedine Zidane editor’s note), I was a little distant. But I always felt he trusted me, even when I was criticized. He always said it and it is important for a goalkeeper. “ Unhappy finalist of the Champions League 2014 against … Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois intends to take his revenge. Seven years ago, he also eliminated Chelsea to go to the final. Will history repeat itself?