It's not officially official yet, and Chelsea continue to wear shirts without names on the back (just numbers), but for all intents and purposes, Sunday's friendly against Werder Bremen confirmed that Thibaut Courtois will be wearing the number 13 shirt for the coming season.
This is not unexpected of course, but considering that at least Marca tried to stir up some trouble along these lines, it was good to see common sense in action. For Courtois, the #13 is home, having worn it at Atlético Madrid for the last three seasons.
While in both England and Spain, 13 is the number traditionally assigned to the backup goalkeeper, in our case, we have yet to see in what order the #1 and #13 shirts will shake out from the preseason. Chances are, the traditional "order" will be reversed.
And what of the shirt's previous occupant, one Victor Moses? Considering his absence from the European tour even after finishing his post-World Cup vacation, he's probably close to finding a new employer either on loan or on a permanent basis.
Once official, Courtois will be the fifth* Chelsea player and second Chelsea goalkeeper after Kevin Hitchcock to wear the number 13 since fixed shirt numbers were introduced in 1993. Hitchcock, a perennial backup, spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge. Thirteen years for the #13? Sounds like a plan.
* Kevin Hitchcock, William Gallas, Michael Ballack, Victor Moses