Thibaut Courtois’s “childhood dream’’ comes true by his signing with Real Madrid, announces the Belgian goal keeper during his official presentation to the Madrid club where he is engaged for six years. Thibaut Courtois will switch from Chelsea, where he was under contract until June 2019, but had been refusing to extend for the last several months. There had been talk of Courtois at Real for weeks, but the transfer was only made official Wednesday evening, the day before the market closure in England, andjust after Chelsea had found a replacement for the Belgian in Spanish keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, from Athletic Bilbao.
“It’s a childhood dream come true. You can’t imagine how happy I am,’’ declared Thibaut Courtois. “Those who know me, know how hard I worked to get here. Going to the best club in the world is a huge responsibility. I want to thank Real Madrid and all those who made it possible for me to be here, because it wasn’t easy. Throughout my entire career, I have given my best wherever I was. Today, I am a “madridista”, and I aim to be worthy of what that represents. I am very happy to be close again to my children.’’
26-year-old Thibaut Courtois, whose children live in Madrid, had returned from the Russian World Cup with the trophy for the best goal keeper of the competition in his suitcase. Wishing to leave Chelsea, he had not been present in training this week in London.
Courtois began in Genk’s first team in 2009, at the age of 16. Two years later, he left Limbourg after having become Belgian champion. Recruited by Chelsea in 2011, he had been on loan for three seasons at Atletico Madrid, before playing at the Stamford Bridge from 2014.