Ahead of the 2020-21 La Liga season Thibaut Courtois has seemingly picked a new number, switching from ‘13’ to ‘1’. The change hasn’t been officially announced as of yet, but Realmadrid.com has Courtois listed with the number change.
The number ‘1’ shirt was previously worn by the recently departing Alphonse Areola this season. Courtois just switched this season from the ‘25’ to the ‘13’ shirt.
It’s a bit surprising he is making the switch since he wore ‘13’ with both Atlético Madrid and Chelsea. However, Courtois does wear ‘1’ with Belgium. The number at Real Madrid was last worn by Keylor Navas.
This now leaves a couple options for Courtois’ backup to take next season, which will likely be 21-year-old Andriy Lunin who is returning from loan with Real Oviedo.
With Areola leaving and the club making it clear no signings will happen this summer, Lunin seems likely to get his chance with the first team as the backup keeper.
Regardless of what number he wears, Courtois will be important between the pipes for Real Madrid again next season. He was instrumental in Real’s La Liga winning season and was rewarded for his clean sheet keeping with the Zamora Trophy.
Courtois could be taking the ‘1’ shirt in honor of one of his idols, Iker Casillas. This season has proven that the Belgian will be a worthy holder of this shirt.