It's official - Chelsea have Spain's best goalkeeper

Thibaut Coutois

Thibaut Courtois has been rewarded with the Zamora Trophy after an excellent campaign with Atletico Madrid.

La Liga came to an end last night with several big stories involving the relegation battle and European places - and some bloke called Jose Mourinho taking the precedent.

But an award was won last night; won by a Chelsea player.

The Ricardo Zamora Trophy is an award rewarded by MARCA since 1929 to the goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-game ratio throughout a single La Liga season. To win the award you must also meet the minimum game criteria (60 minutes at least in 28 games).

Named after legendary Spanish keeper Ricardo Zamora many a big name has also been rewarded with this prestigious accolade. Zamora was the first winner and the likes of Iker Casillas, Andoni Zubizarreta and Jose Vicente Train have been rewarded with the accolade since its inception.

This season however has seen the first naturally non-Spanish speaking winner since Cameroonian Jacques Songo’o of Deportivo La Coruna in 1997.

The player in question is Atletico Madrid stopper Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian won out ahead of competition from the likes of Victor Valdes, Willy Caballero and Andres Fernandez after conceding just 29 goals in 37 matches this season; an average of just 0.78 goals per game.

The Belgian was the only stopper in the division to concede less than a goal-per-game and there is no wonder why Atleti want to keep the 21-year-old on loan for one more season.

Just last week former PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Ronald Waterreus had this to say on the stopper when asked whether Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer was the best goalkeeper in the world:

"No. Thibaut Courtois is the best and he is only 21 years old."

Atletico are keen to keep Courtois for another season but after witnessing his performances first-hand incoming Blues boss Jose Mourinho may want to work with him next season at Stamford Bridge.

Rumours persist that Chelsea may well be happy to let him make the move back to the Vicente Calderon as they are likely to stick with Petr Cech as their number one custodian next term. Having a goalkeeper of Courtois’ talent as the reserve makes little sense when he can play top-class regular football once again next term.

For Petr Cech he might just hope they do let him out on loan again; or he may find himself sitting on the bench next season.

image: © wshjackson

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