It is not often you see a goalkeeper register 200 clean sheets in a career, let alone one that is far from over.
But on Sunday afternoon Thibaut Courtois did exactly that as he shut out Kazakhstan in a 2-0 victory for Belgium. The Real Madrid stopper has faced much criticism in Spain since joining Real Madrid but there is no denying he remains a talented goalkeeper.
The Belgium No.1 has kept seven straight clean sheets for the national side during Euro 2020 qualifying and the Red Devils have not let in a goal since the opening qualifying match against Russia in a game they eventually won by a 3-1 margin.
Securing his 200th clean sheet is a significant confidence boost for Courtois, who is still only 27 years of age and could yet play for another decade at the top level.
The former Chelsea goalkeeper has been the subject of criticism since signing for Los Blancos, with his detractors arguing that it was his silly mistake that led to defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
However, Courtois was voted the best goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and has proven his ability time and time again on the international stage with Belgium.
People may point to the quality of opposition he has faced during the seven-game run without conceding but his 200 career clean sheets have come against some of the most talented opposition in world football.
His form at Real Madrid has been improving as he kept out both Sevilla and Atletico in recent weeks, so all credit to Courtois, who has also had to shake off accusations that he was suffering from anxiety.
200 clean sheets are on the board and there are likely to be many more. Up next for Belgium is a trip to Russia in an important top of the table clash in Group I before Roberto Martinez’s men host Cyprus in their final qualifier for Euro 2020.
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