Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

"Chelsea will always have a special place in my heart": goalkeeper Courtois completes Real move

Belgium's Thibaut Courtois, who was chosen as best goalkeeper at the World Cup in Russia, has finalised his deal with Real Madrid, where he will be presented today. Courtois leaves London after four seasons with Chelsea. Contrary to Eden Hazard, Courtois managed a transfer away from Stamford Bridge, to join Real. 

26-year-old Courtois, a Limburger from the town of Bree, signed a six-year deal at Real Madrid. He thus returns to the city where he shone for Atlético, on loan from Chelsea, before returning to Stamford Bridge. However, Courtois wanted to be closer to his children in Madrid, and managed to force a transfer after a strong World Cup with some top-notch performances. The transfer fee is said to be around 40 million euros.

Courtois had skipped the first training sessions with Chelsea to put up the pressure. However, Courtois hasn't forgotten the Chelsea fans: "I hope the fans can understand my decision. Chelsea will always have a special place in my heart", he wrote on Facebook.

He added that it was always his big dream to play for Real, the winner of the last three editions of the Champions League, and that it will allow him to be closer with the children he has with his ex-partner there.