With hardly any doubt, Thibaut Courtois is one of the best goalkeepers in the world at the moment. He keeps in the English premier league for Chelsea FC, and also for the Belgian national football team. Having begun since 1997, the goalkeeper has risen to a very good spot and that has earned him an invitation to play for Belgium at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Here are things to know about him.
Thibaut Courtois Biography
It was as Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois that he was born on 11 May 1992 in the Belgian city of Bree. He was raised by their parents, Thierry Courtois and his mother, Gitte Courtois.
Born into an athletic home with both parents as former volleyball players, it was not surprising that he also became an athlete in the same way as his sister who chose to take the same path as her parents by also playing volleyball.
Just as it is with most other goalkeepers, Courtois began football as a left-back as a child. Nevertheless, he was soon turned into a goalkeeper at his first youth club.
Sister, Wife, and Girlfriend
As stated, Thibaut was brought up alongside his sister Valérie Courtois who unsurprisingly is also into sports. However, unlike her younger brother, she plays Volleyball for Belgium. She has won bronze at the 2013 European Championships and Silver at the Women’s European Volleyball League in 2013 for Belgium.
Valérie Courtois was born on 1 November 1990 in Bilzen. She has played for a number of clubs including VDK Gent Dames, VC Oudegem, and Budowlani Łódź.
Even though he is not married and doesn’t have a wife, Courtois has been in a relationship before now with Marta Dominguez whom he met when he was on loan at Atletico. Having dated for some time, the two had two children together before calling it quits.
He has a daughter, Adriana Courtois as well as a son who was born after the parents had split in September 2016. Even as he continues to play football in England, his former girlfriend and children are still in Madrid, Spain.
Although he has been linked to his 18-year-old dog sitter, Delaney Royle, her father had come out to say there was nothing going on between the two.
Before then, there were reports that had linked him to Brittny Gastineau. Again, nothing came out between the goalkeeper and the American socialite.
Club Football Career
As regards his club footballing career, the Belgian goalkeeper began as a boy of 5 with the Bilzen V.V. youth team in 1997. It was here that he got converted from a defender to a goal stopper. He remained with the club until 1999 when he moved to the youth team of the Belgian professional football club, Genk.
Thibaut Courtois remained with the Youth Team until 2009 when he was promoted to play in the Belgian Pro League for the Genk. With 41 appearances to his name, he quickly attracted big clubs including Chelsea FC of England.
In July 2011, Thibaut Courtois signed a 5 year deal with the English Club worth €9 million. With Petr Čech in Chelsea, the young Belgian goalkeeper who was only 19 years old was sent on loan to Atlético Madrid. Soon, he became the Club’s first choice goalkeeper as he helped it maintain 4 clean sheets in his first six games.
After a very successful run with Atletico, Thibaut returned to his parent club in 2014 and soon signed a deal that would keep him there for the next 5 years. After Petr Čech moved to Arsenal in 2015, he became the club’s first choice goalkeeper.
By the end of the 2017/2018 season, he had already recorded 126 games in the blues jersey and in the process, he has won the 2 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, and a Football League Cup. He has also won the Premier League Golden Glove with the club. More so, before leaving Atletico, he recorded a La Liga title, Copa del Rey, UEFA Europa League, and ended as runner-up at the UEFA Champions League.
National Football Career
As regards his national career, the lanky goalkeeper got his first call in 2009 to wear the nation’s colours for the Under-18 team. He was called upon in 2011 to play for the Belgian national team alongside teammate Eden Hazard.
By the time he was invited for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Courtois had already covered the post for his country 54 times. With the team, he has won the Belgian Pro League as well as some personal awards such as the Belgian Sportsman of the year in 2014 and Best Belgian Player Abroad in 2013 and 2014.
Height and Weight
Thibaut Courtois is one of the tallest goalkeepers in the world. Interestingly, this has not stopped him from being good with low shots just as he is with high ones. In fact, height is one of the things that many goalkeepers count on, and it has not failed the Belgian stopper.
He stands at a massive 6 ft 6.5 inches (199 cm) tall, making him one of the tallest in both his home country and the English League. He also has a body weight of 91kg / 201 lbs.