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Name Thibaut Courtois
Gender Male
Ethnic Belgian
Job Belgian Footballer
Desc Had he not swanned off to Spain to sun it up in Madrid, Thibaut Courtois may have worked his way much further up this list across future seasons. However, the Belgian was still influential during his time at Stamford Bridge and helped Chelsea to two Premier League titles while in London. Although he can sometimes struggle at the near post, especially in one-on-one situations, Courtois is fantastic at dealing with powerful, long-range efforts, while his cat-like reflexes pulled Chelsea out of many sticky situations during his 126 league appearances for the club

Affiliation

Org Belgium National Team
Club as Player Real Madrid
  Chelsea

2014 12 14 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois on Neuer] Is Neuer the best goalkeeper in the world? He gets more attention for his dribbling

2016 09 24 Retrieve

[Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois speaks about his love for the country] I consider myself half Spanish. I miss not just the club [Atletico] but Madrid and the country. Since the first minute, I fell in love with Spain – the people, the way of life, the food. I have kept up the late dinners, the siesta, and most of the television I watch is Spanish. When I left Spain I had it very clear in my mind that I would return one day. I have a contract with Chelsea for three more seasons. In 2018, when I begin my last season, I will have to evaluate if it’s better to renew or to leave

2017 03 08 Retrieve

[Quotes on John Terry] John is a player with a lot of authority. When he’s in front of you, he’s a real leader in the dressing room and on the pitch

2017 07 08 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois reveals his penchant for doing impressions of manager Antonio Conte] I like to imitate [Antonio Conte] a bit sometimes in Italian, because he has key words that he wants to use. For example: when he says switch the play or change sides to the other side, those things. But he says it in a bit of an Italian way, so I like always to imitate him a bit. After we won the league, all the players said: ‘Thibaut go to the microphone on the bus’ and I did him a bit. We could see him and he was laughing and it was funny

2018 01 06 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois speaks about the importance of Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard staying at the club] With the money he will raise, you can buy five players but none of them will be like Eden. It would be like Barcelona losing Lionel Messi or Real Madrid losing Cristiano Ronaldo

2018 06 09 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois is aware of the qualities that Group G rivals England] England have a team with a lot of individual talent, you’ll have to watch out for several players. But the one who scores almost 30 goals every year is Harry Kane. He is the most dangerous

2019 03 23 Retrieve

[How Thibaut Courtois maintains his self-confidence] I still consider myself one of the best in the world, even though the Spanish press want to kill me. I feel strong, I’m calm, playing well and training well

2019 04 14 Retrieve

[Yet despite criticisms and poor form, Courtois has not lost his confidence] still consider myself one of the best, despite the Spanish press wanting to kill me

2019 08 27 Tweet

[Thibaut Courtois announces that he will be an ambassador for the Belgium women’s national team] Proud to be asked as an ambassador for the Belgian women’s football. The @BelRedFlames are doing better than ever, wishing them a great season. Go, Red Flames!

2019 11 10 Retrieve

[Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois insists he never lost confidence in his ability to perform for Los Blancos this season] I have never lost my peace of mind, I know what I am worth. I felt good and sooner or later, the sun always rises and I have never lost confidence. [The clean sheet] is good for the whole team. It is not just the goalkeeper’s job but the whole team. You have to defend together and attack together. So it is very difficult to score. I am always grateful to keep a clean sheet. Though after [the goalless draw with] Betis I would have preferred to concede a goal and win. All you have to do is work, have confidence in yourself and keep working

[Courtois has also backed former Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard to soon start scoring for Los Blancos] In other games he has played very well. Today he has played a great game, he has just not been able to score the goal, but he has been very decisive. Hopefully he will score some more goals for his confidence, although he does not need it

2019 11 14 Retrieve

[Courtois fires back at critics after testing period at Real Madrid] I don’t read the press, I only pay attention to what the coach or my team-mates say to me. If they haven’t been a goalkeeper themselves, how can they know how it all works. I don’t doubt my own ability. I am one of the best goalkeepers in the world and sometimes that’s why they criticise me. I’m calm about it because I made some good saves against Celta [Vigo], Sevilla and Atletico [Madrid], and in other games. I’m playing at a good level, it’s turning out to be a good start to the season and I have to continue this way

[The shot-stopper added on his relationship with the Madrid boss] Zidane told me that I’d continue as first-choice, and asked me to keep focused. He’s always had faith in me

2019 11 25 Retrieve

[Speaking at a media conference ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain] You love your country and that comes before where you are playing, but he is involved every day and is a professional. He was very involved when he came on and generated a lot of danger. [Luka] Modric’s goal came from a cross of his. If he wasn’t committed, he wouldn’t play like that. We are here to win games. What has happened, has happened. He gives everything in training and matches to help us win. The Bernabeu has its opinion and I am not in a position to comment on that

[Courtois insists Los Blancos will not have revenge on their minds during Tuesday’s fixture] I wouldn’t say revenge. The match helped us to learn. We have improved a lot lately and we will see where we are. We have to be strong and not make mistakes. It will be a great game from the first second until the last

2019 12 16 Retrieve

[Courtois went up for a corner, with Madrid desperate to salvage a point, and his header was dramatically saved by Valencia counterpart Jaume Domenech before Benzema pounced] I took advantage of my height to meet the corner. I’m two metres tall and opponents get nervous if I go up [for corners]. Toni [Kroos] sends corners to the near post, I saw the ball coming at my height and I connected well. Then the ball fell to Benzema and he scored.

2019 12 23 Retrieve

[When asked whether Madrid still need to replace Cristiano Ronaldo] You talk about a man who scored 40-50 goals a year, you can miss him. But he left a year and a half ago, we have players who can score goals too. Bad luck and good goalkeepers, it’s a bit of everything at the moment. I don’t have an explanation for why the ball doesn’t want to go in, but I trust that my team-mates can score at any time. Karim is outstanding, he has scored a lot of goals already. I don’t think a signing is necessary, I fully trust the team

[on Hazard’s opening few months in the Spanish capital as he continues to recover from an ankle injury] Obviously, I don’t know if he has been at his best level, but he created a lot of danger. He is one of the best in the world and you miss him, although the others played well. He is sad that he could not help the team, he would have loved to play in Mestalla or the Clasico. I hope that against Getafe he can play. Time will fix it, you don’t have to risk it

[Madrid are second in La Liga at the halfway stage of the 2019-20 campaign, two points behind Barcelona] It leaves us with a bad taste because we had two very intense matches [before playing Athletic]. We struggled to get into the game at the start and then we didn’t have luck on our side. We hit the woodwork three times and then the goalkeeper also deserves credit. Athletic try to frustrate you and the referee followed their game. They are two points lost, but we have to keep going. We have ended 2019 well in La Liga. At home, we’ve dropped some points against some teams, and you come away disappointed, but overall we only lost one game and now we have to keep going

2019 12 30 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois insisted there was never any internal strain on his relationship with Keylor Navas, though he acknowledged there is now much less focus on the Real Madrid goalkeeping situation] In the end it is like in life. With some you have better relationships and you talk more. He was a partner and there was always a try to help us both. The fact is that it no longer helped me. I think it is more that there is no longer that debate from outside, because from inside we were two goalkeepers that we trained well while competing, as now with Areola who is a great goalkeeper. Then the requirement for me, day by day, has not changed. But there seems to be less debate outside

2019 12 30b Retrieve

[Courtois challenges Bale to give interview in Spanish as he speaks better than people think] I get on best with the young players like Fede Valverde, Brahim, before with Sergio Reguilon […] I have Casemiro by my side and I also speak a lot with him, also with Isco and Eden Hazard […] they are who I spend most time with. In the end, I’m an easy person to get along with. I speak four languages (English, Dutch, French and Spanish) and I always studied German at school, so I speak a little bit. And, with so many Brazilian teammates, I’m learning a bit of Portuguese.

I like to keep up my English with Gareth, although he speaks better Spanish than people think. He could give an interview in Spanish perfectly well. I speak to him a lot, I also like golf. Gareth does everything to win matches. They always go after him for the same things: golf, the language […] I want to see him go out and give an interview in Spanish because he speaks very well in the dressing room with lots of teammates and he understands it very well. But it’s his thing if he prefers to speak English, it would only be to stop people saying these things [about his Spanish] and they can see that he’s very devoted

2020 01 12 Retrieve

[Courtois said he was always confident of saving Thomas Partey’s penalty, while he was happy with another clean sheet] We played well in both games and today we also deserved to win despite the fact that Atleti is always there, we keep our goals conceded to zero and we are happy to win. I felt very comfortable, I trusted myself at that time

I reviewed the penalties on the bench. Saul surprised me a little, but Thomas I knew clearly. He shot it very hard and very strong. I am very happy for another zero goals conceded and with good stops. This is very important

[Courtois praised his team, who host Sevilla in LaLiga on Saturday, for making the most of Fede Valverde’s tackle] We are very happy. It was a hard-fought match against Atletico. Their style of play is waiting for an error from the other team. They could have taken advantage of that a few times. I managed to save some, Fede stopped one. I think I could stop Alvaro by coming out, but he got away and Fede made the tackle. We took advantage of that well and we were the more confident team in the penalty shootout

2020 01 12b Retrieve

[Courtois of his crucial penalty stop from Partey] It was a great save I think because he hit it really hard, really well

2020 01 28 Retrieve

[Former Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois says winning with Real Madrid is the peak] Being a Madrid player is important. Everything is important here - every game, every training session. Here there is pressure and you have to know how to take it. I really want to fight to win the Champions League and La Liga. Winning with Madrid is the peak. At Madrid, you can never relax, you are never calm. When you wear this shirt, you know the pressure that comes with is, that’s why they win so many titles

I had to be strong to overcome the difficult moments. Just like when you do when you’re 20 years old, you take things to heart, but over time you learn

I hope to be remembered as a great goalkeeper and a great person. I hope to be important in winning titles, but I also hope to leave the image of being a good person and a good team-mate. The Champions League is the big dream at club level, and I’d also like to win the European Championships [with Belgium]. All dreams can come true

2020 02 12 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois struggled desperately at Real Madrid] I looked at the goalkeeping coach and he told me yeah, go up. Goalkeepers, we have a great timing when it comes to reading the plays, I almost scored and in the end it was Benzema. It was a boost for the whole team.

I’ve grown a lot as a person. Last year was not easy and if you can’t cope with this pressure, this year you can’t be at this level. I am proud. I’ve been strong mentally and kept growing as a person. The key is not to lose confidence in yourself. If you can’t be confident in yourself, forget about it. You have to be confident

2020 02 16 Retrieve

[As Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Coutois said of his club and international team-mate] Little by little Hazard will catch up again after three months out. He is a player who is worth a lot to us

2020 02 16b Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois happy to have Eden Hazard back in Real Madrid lineup] Celta didn’t come forward often. Overall we have defended well and with a good organization. In the end we left a good Santi Mina unchecked & he scored it. Little by little Hazard will catch up again after three months out, he is a player who is worth a lot to us. We must try to work well. [We are] annoyed because it’s a draw and two dropped points are worth a lot here. It was a complicated game and we received a goal very early. The second half we started strong and we quickly scored both goals. Celta are technical and they have proven it

2020 03 02 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois believes Real Madrid’s decision to press Barcelona as they played out from the back paid off in El Clasico] Against Barcelona you can play in two ways: get into the area and defend or press and risk as they play out. We did the latter very well and winning a Clasico is always good. At 0-0 in the first half it was important not to concede any goals. When it was my turn I made good saves, like against Arthur and Messi. Then in the second half we were better and made the difference

We are ahead but we can’t forget that there are 12 games left. Next we visit Betis and if we want to win LaLiga we have to win there too. After our last results, we have continued to work well. I think we played better in those games but we didn’t win. Football is about small details and this time we got the win with the help of our fans. That is key and they have been incredible

2020 05 05 Retrieve

[Thibaut Courtois says Barcelona should not be crowned La Liga champions should the season be cancelled because Real Madrid proved they are the better team] Of course I’d love to finish the season. We are two points behind Barcelona, so it’s still possible we can be champions. So it’s unfortunate if the season is cancelled. For example, in France there were two teams that were relegated, they maybe could have saved themselves, they won’t like that. In Netherlands, no team will be crowned champions, no team is being promoted or relegated. It’s unfortunate for guys from the second tier who couldn’t go up. So if they decide this morning to stop the competition and Barcelona are named champions, I also wouldn’t find that completely right. The coach of Barcelona wouldn’t find that logical. They drew against us once and lost once, so we showed them that we are the better team, but we’re still two points behind, so I don’t really agree with that. In England, I could understand if Liverpool became champions. I can understand if they made them the champions. What do you do with those that are supposed to go up and down? I think the economy, the tv money plays a big role in that. It’s difficult.

[Courtois is not sure when he will be back on the training field, but expects to be called in for testing on Wednesday] It looks like we’ll be tested on Wednesday - technically it’s not confirmed until they officially let me know that I can come. So, Wednesday test day to see if we are infected. Then, in theory, next week we can go individually, but that doesn’t mean training. That depends on what the club and the government decide. The only sure thing at this point is that we will be tested this week

2020 05 12 Retrieve

[Courtois denies saying Real Madrid should win La Liga title over Barcelona] At no point did I say that Real Madrid had to be declared champions. If the league ends, we’re in a better position even if we lost to [Real] Betis. If we play the 11 remaining matches then I am confident that my team can win the league

It was good to go back to training a little. But it was weird, different, but feeling the grass and training is better than nothing

I think that Thibaut, everything that happened on the field of play, never affected him in a decisive way. He was aware that he wanted to improve his performances and somehow be at his natural level. I have watched it with great pride. To see Thibaut have to continue working and reach the level he has reached is because he is perfectly prepared to be in Real Madrid’s goal. The easy thing would have been to throw in the towel or start blaming third parties when you’re in such a difficult situation. Thibaut did the opposite. He showed great maturity, great self-criticism, to the point of becoming essential at Real Madrid. There are no goalkeepers like Thibaut in modern football. It has been a source of pride to see him grow so much on a human level and give the level he has given this season

2020 05 20 Retrieve

[Courtois: Real Madrid will keep fighting to win La Liga] Everyone is looking forward to restarting La Liga and keeping fighting to win it. We couldn’t wait to be back at training after two months, being together as a team and despite it being a bit different, it is always nice to come back to Valdebebas to have training. Training at home is different, but I think everyone did well, everyone did what the coach has said and everyone keeps fit, everyone is pretty strong.

Goalkeepers were lucky because we were allowed to do training with the keepers coach last week. This week, allowing small groups, team-mates can shoot at us, at least, and you feel it is a real session

2020 05 24 Retrieve

[Courtois says he and Hazard talked about Real Madrid move in the Chelsea dressing room] In the Chelsea dressing room, we spoke about the possibility of playing here. The White House, the White House […] Now, we are very eager to win trophies

2020 05 30 Retrieve

[Adrenaline junkie Courtois refreshed & raring to go after Real Madrid lockdown] We’re dealing pretty well with it. It’s always nice to spend some time at home with your family, but you start getting a bit bored after a few weeks. You want to go back, to train and to play. [I was training at home on] the treadmill, weights, those sorts of things. Luckily I have a garden and I can also work out outside. On my first day of training, after two months, it felt like coming back after a week and I hadn’t lost anything. So that was good, and that’s why I feel prepared for what’s coming. Of course, there’s a protocol we have to follow. The first week more than anything was a bit weird. At least I was training with the goalkeeping coach but he couldn’t shoot or pass or anything. So that was a bit strange to start with but then we got used to it. The goalkeeping work I’ve been doing has been the same as I’ve been doing for the last 11 years as a professional so luckily that hasn’t really changed. We’re really looking forward to playing games in training, 11 against 11, everyone smiling, without these problems. But we’re going bit by bit.

At the end of the day, I’ve rested for two months, which is almost impossible the rest of the time. There are never two months during the season where you aren’t exposed to that constant stress and adrenaline. Which is cool, too, because being a football player and playing in stadiums and playing those big games, the adrenaline and the pressure in your body is addictive and we like it. It pushes you to perform better. But having two months to rest a little bit and to work on your body in order to improve your physical condition has been of great help.

2020 06 06 Retrieve

[Real and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on Eden Hazard] Hazard is back and with a lot of energy. The stoppage has enabled him to get fit again. He can help us win the title. He is a key player for us

2020 06 08 Retrieve

[Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said the club will need Eden Hazard for their La Liga title battle] Hazard is just fine. The rhythm he has is surprising, but we have to go bit by bit. We can’t expect him to be on top form without playing. I think he’s in shape and we’ll need him to fight for the title

[Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid defeated bitter rivals Barca 2-0 in March but lost to Real Betis and Levante, while they drew at home to Celta Vigo] We can’t wait for the league to begin again and start the battle to win it. It’ll be different [without fans]. It’s great when there is an atmosphere - even when you are playing away from home and it’s against you. It gives you adrenaline and it’s something which motivates me to pull off more saves. I’ll be just as motivated without the fans there

[Madrid are set to play their remaining La Liga games at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano – the club’s Valdebebas training ground] I don’t think it will work against us [playing away from the Bernabeu]. It’s an honour to play at a stadium named after a legend - the best player in Real Madrid history. For the history of the club, it would be very nice to win the league there. The training sessions we have had there have been going well and I can’t see us having any problems playing there

2020 06 22 Retrieve

[Courtois, whose Madrid moved top of the La Liga table, insisted his line of sight was impacted for Januzaj’s strike] When he shot there were three people in my line, Merino, another from Real and one of us who was covering the shot. I didn’t see anything and in the end if you don’t see the ball and it goes by so fast it won’t give you time to react. It is an offside position. It may be right or not, but it prevents seeing it. That is what the VAR is for and I think the decisions have been clear

[Courtois was happy to collect three points] The key was to win. We know that it is always difficult to play here. It is a great team that fights to enter Europe