Born on 11 May 1992 in Bree, Belgium, the transfer of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Chelsea on a five-year contract was completed in July 2011. It was then agreed he would be loaned to Atletico Madrid for the 2011/12 season, where he enjoyed an impressive campaign, making 52 appearances and collecting a Europa League winners' medal after helping his side to a 3-0 victory in the Final against Athletic Bilbao.
The loan was extended for a further 12 months to cover the 2012/13 season, in which Courtois once again impressed. He helped his loan side beat Chelsea in the Super Cup in Monaco and they competed with Barcelona and Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, eventually finishing third. Courtois and colleagues were however celebrating after the Spanish cup final. He made significant saves in a 2-1 win over Real in the Bernabeu.
The same month he picked up the Ricardo Zamora award which is given to the goalkeeper in the Spanish Primera Liga with the best goals conceded per game ratio. He let in just 29 in 37 league matches and also set new club records for minutes without conceding at home and away.
At his previous club, Racing Genk, he was part of the team that won the 2010/11 Belgian League, the club's first championship in nine years. It was the young keeper's first season as a regular. The year before the club had finished 11th.
The young goalkeeper's contribution earned him the accolades of Belgian Goalkeeper of the Year and Genk's Player of the Year. The team conceded 32 goals over the course of 40 league matches.
At the start of that season he played against Andre Villas-Boas's Porto side, the tie a qualifier for the Europa League which the Portuguese side went on to win.
He first joined Genk at the age of eight and originally played at left-back, switching to between the posts when in the 10/11 age group. He progressed through the youth ranks and made his league debut in April 2009 when aged just 16. He had moved into the squad during the winter break when two keepers departed Genk.
At the start of the 2010/11 season, Genk's number one goalkeeper had problems with his work licence so Courtois started and when he did well, he kept his place, showing calmness under pressure that belied his years.
The league championship was decided in the final play-off game, against Standard Liege who needed to win to be champions. Genk required a draw to win it. With the score 1-1, Courtois made three good saves in the last 10 minutes.
Courtois, who is 6ft 6in tall, made his debut for the Belgian national side in November 2011 against France, becoming the youngest ever goalkeeper to play for Belgium.