Oblak vs Courtois: Battle of the custodians on show as Atletico and Real Madrid gear up for LaLiga derby


The Madrid Derby is just around the corner, with Atlético de Madrid hosting Real Madrid at the Cívitas Metropolitano on Sunday, September 18th at 21:00 CEST in LaLiga.

As always, the match promises to be a clash of many of the best players in LaLiga Santander, including a duel between two goalkeepers who have a claim to being the best in the world: Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois and Atlético de Madrid’s Jan Oblak.c

Fans only need to watch Oblak play to understand that the Slovenian shot-stopper is special; he passes the eye test in virtually every match. But the 29-year-old also has the statistics to back up his claim to the goalkeeping throne.

Oblak has statistically been the best goalkeeper in LaLiga Santander in five of the past seven years, repeatedly winning the Zamora Trophy, the award given to the goalkeeper to concede the fewest average goals per game playing in at least 28 games.

While it’s true that he is helped by Atleti’s renowned defensive solidity, there’s no denying that Oblak has earned these awards. Historically, FC Barcelona legends Antoni Ramallets and Victor Valdés are the only other players to have ever picked up the accolade five times.

Courtois also knows what it’s like to win the top LaLiga Santander keeper award. What’s more, he also did it in Atlético de Madrid colours – twice (2013 & 2014) while on loan in the capital between 2011 and 2014 – in addition to in the 2019/20 season with Real Madrid.

In addition to his domestic success, Courtois was recently named MVP for the 2022 Champions League final, when Real Madrid defeated Liverpool 1-0.

How do Oblak and Courtois compare in Madrid Derbies?

They say that form goes out the window when a derby match comes along, but both of these goalkeepers have a history of stepping up for the big occasion in the capital.

Over their careers, Oblak has played in 23 Madrid derbies and has conceded 25 goals, while Courtois has played in 17 and has conceded 20. Nine of those Courtois appearances were for Atlético de Madrid and the last eight were for Real Madrid, with 18 conceded while wearing Atleti colors and just two while representing his current club.

Both men will be targeting another derby clean sheet this weekend, a clean sheet that could help them win the match and also go a long way towards deciding who picks up the top LaLiga Santander goalkeeper award at the end of the season.


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