How Thibaut Courtois’ school struggles almost changed his career

Thibaut Courtois has ended up at Real Madrid as their number one keeper – but it was a long and treacherous road to the top.

Along the way he managed to infuriate Atletico Madrid and Chelsea fans with his lack of loyalty, but even long before those hairy moments he faced some career defining moments.

DAZN Germany have a great story from Lutz Pfannenstiel, who was Hoffenheim’s head of recruitment in 2010 when Courtois was Europe’s best young goalie.

The German side had a deal lined up for him as he emerged from the Genk academy, but concerns about his progress at school held back a move. His parents weren’t happy with any transfer happening before he had graduated, so Hoffenheim signed his teammate Koen Casteels instead.

It worked out perfectly for Courtois in the end, as he was signed by Chelsea, loaned to Atletico, and then ended up at Real. But at the time it must have felt like a huge opportunity missed.

“Playing behind closed doors – for us – is not much different to the games being cancelled” – Which national coach said this about their own fans? Find out here.

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