José Mourinho elected to pick Belgian international Thibaut Courtois as his number 1 goalkeeper for the 2014/15 season. He ousted Chelsea legend Petr Cech for that spot but the Daily Star reveal how Courtois almost joined Barcelona.
Thibaut Courtois began his career in his native Belgium with Genk where he rose through the youth ranks and made his first team debut just before his 17th birthday. Courtois would go on to play 41 times in the league for Genk and joined Chelsea in July 2011. That is when the Barcelona scout claims the Catalan giants were close to a deal for him. He said: “Courtois was looking forward to joining the club. At that time (2011) could have signed for 3 to 4 million euros. He was ready to sign with the first team, Barça B, or go on loan. A month later he went to Chelsea.”
Thibaut Courtois was sent out on loan by Chelsea for three consecutive seasons to Atlético Madrid in La Liga. Whilst there he improved immensely and only missed 3 league matches in 3 seasons, raking up 111 games, 154 in all competitions. During that time Courtois also won the La Liga title, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup. Atléti were runners-up in the UEFA Champions League as Courtois lifted 2 back-to-back Zamora trophies for the best goalkeeper in Spain.
Courtois has been important for Chelsea this season and it seems the 22-year-old will now outlast Petr Cech as he is rumoured to be club hunting come the January transfer window. The 27 time capped Belgium international has some career ahead of him, how good do you reckon Courtois can be?
By Gareth Thomas | November 25th, 2014