“I am very happy because it’s what I wanted. I’ve always said that I wanted to continue next season at Atletico and play a competition as important as the Champions League having managed to qualify for it so brilliantly. I just think about enjoying the amazing fans we have and hopefully we can continue to give them a lot of joy.”
These were the words of Thibaut Courtios when Atletico Madrid and Chelsea reached an agreement to allow the young Belgian stopper to return for another season long loan.
This will be Courtios’ 3rd year in the goalkeeper shirt of Atleti, if they are anything like the previous two seasons I’m sure the fans, the player and both his parent club Chelsea and Atletico will be more than delighted.
The experience of playing in the Champions League as well as having regular 1st team football will benefit the 21 year old’s chances of being involved in the Belgian national team’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
Since joining Atleti 1st time round in July 2011 the 6 ft 6 Belgian stopper immediately took up the position of number one replacing outgoing Atleti youth product David De Gea who had left the club to join Manchester United. Chelsea number one Petr Cech gave the young goalkeeper some high praise, “(there) are not many as talented as Thibaut”. Also that Courtois “is one of the best talents in European football.” (in regards to the other goalkeepers in the English Premier League). In his 1st season he was a breath of fresh air to the Atletico defence and was the starting goalkeeper in their 3-0 Europa League Final triumph over Athletic Bilbao in Bucharest.
The season past again he was in superb form, with 20 clean sheets in 37 La Liga appearances, meaning he won the prestigious Zamora trophy for the best goalkeeper statistically in Spain. Courtois also was in-goal for the Uefa Super Cup win over parent club Chelsea at the end of August, and the famous 2-1 victory at the Bernabeu in the Copa Del Rey Final after extra time, Atletico’s 1st win over their cross city rivals since 1999.
Being part of the tightest defence in La Liga and the Zamora trophy winner would have made the choice an easy one for the Atletico top men to bring Courtois back for the 3rd season on the spin, if he keeps improving and impresses at the World Cup with his national team next summer, Atletico may try to secure his signature on a permanent basis, both Chelsea and Los Rojiblancos are very fortune to have this young man on their books.
He also is widely regarded as the best young goalkeeper in world football, his stellar performances for the past few years in La Liga and his 10 caps for the Belgian red devils, is definitely a sign of his undoubted quality… The thing is at 21 and having all the basic tools in his arsenal he will only get better and in my opinion eventually be the best ‘keeper in the world. The future is a bright one for this young superstar.