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Official: Thibaut Courtois Signs New 5 Year Contract

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COURTOIS COMPLETED

The transfer of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to Chelsea has been finalised.

The club received his international clearance (ITC) on Tuesday afternoon (UK time) and he is now going to be loaned to Atletico Madrid.

His Chelsea contract is for five years and the Atletico Madrid loan will be for one year.

The 19-year-old signs from Racing Genk where he was part of the team that won the Belgian League last season, that club's first championship in nine years.The goalkeeper's contribution to the campaign earned him the accolades of Belgian Goalkeeper of the Year and Genk's Player of the Year. The team conceded 32 goals over the course of 40 league matches.

Having progressed through the youth ranks at Genk, he made his league debut in April 2009 when aged 16.

He played against Andre Villas-Boas's Porto at the start of last season. The tie was a qualifier for the Europa League which the Portuguese side went on to win. An Under 18 international, he has been named in the full Belgian national squad but has yet to play.

Speaking to the Official Chelsea Website, Courtois said:

'Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world at the moment and gave me the opportunity first to be loaned to another team and then to come back and join the first team squad and then maybe to play there, so it will be a wonderful possibility to play for one of the best teams in the world. That is the reason why I chose Chelsea.'

Courtois is 6ft 6in in height and began the path to becoming a professional goalkeeper at an early age.

'I started at Genk when I was eight years old and then from the 10/11 age group I became a goalkeeper there,' he details. 'Before that I was a left-back.

'Then at the age of 16 I played for the second team of Genk and in the midwinter break that season, two goalkeepers were gone so I could join the first team squad. Then in the April I played my first game at the age of 16 years old. That was exciting and it was something new for me to play in a stadium with 25,000 people.

'Now last season I could play because the first goalkeeper had some problems with his licence and I did well at the beginning so I could stay in the goal, and that was the season that we became champions. Two years ago Genk only finished 11th and now last year we played with the same team and we became champions so everyone was saying this was something really special.'

The Belgian League operates a system that sees the top six teams after 30 games play-off against each other over another 10 matches. Last season it produced a cliff-hanger finish.

'Our last game was against Standard Liege (pictured above) and they had to win to be champions and we had to just draw to win it. They scored first but we made it 1-1 and in the last five minutes I had to make three good saves and this for me was the highlight of the season.

'At the beginning of the season we played against Porto in the Europa League. It was a big team that we played and at home we lost 0-3 but we could also have won because we didn't play badly. They had a penalty that I think was not really a penalty and when it was 0-1 to them we had chances that we could not score. Porto had wonderful players and they scored two more goals so it was sad because we lost 0-3 but we could say we played well against the team that won the Europa League.

'You would have to ask the Chelsea manager if I impressed him then but it was just my third European game and I did my best to play well for the team.'

Courtois names Edwin van der Sar as the keeper he studied in his youth but says that in more recent years the current Chelsea Player of the Year is the one he has looked up to.

'I am happy the other day that I could speak with Petr Cech and also I can play at the same club as him in the future because he is one of my idols.

'Now I would like to say to the Chelsea fans that I am very happy that I have this opportunity from the club to play for this wonderful team. I hope that when I come back I can help give them a nice future.'

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One for the future. Extremely talented goalkeeper for what I said of him. I only hope this is another Delac case. Asenjo and Joel are good keepers at Atletico, but I think Thibaut is better than them.

Anyway, welcome to the Chelsea family and good luck in Madrid!

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I surely hope this isn't one of the signings Ron was talking about. He's been formally introduced at A.Madrid, even showing pictures of him at training.

This isn't "news" so to speak. And Certainly not strengthening the squad, as he's going out on loan.

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Good luck to him. Looks good at quite a young age. I hope he develops well with Atletico so we have a solid GK for the future.

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Good signing by the club for the future.

I can see hordes of Chelsea fans jumping up and down and stamping their feet now that they realise this was one of the two signings that Gourlay talked about :-) Reality bites doesn't it boys ;-)

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Good signing by the club for the future.

I can see hordes of Chelsea fans jumping up and down and stamping their feet now that they realise this was one of the two signings that Gourlay talked about :-) Reality bites doesn't it boys ;-)

It's logic to think that, isn't it? I hope he's not one of the signings, especially because he won't reinforce the team for the next season, but until now, it seems he is.

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Welcome to Chelsea Courtois. I hope you have a great time at Arletico and cam develop into a bright goalkeeper for the future of Cfc. However as most have said it really isn't strengthening our squad for next season.

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From Atletico Madrid: Link

Thibaut Courtois was presented as new player of Atletico Madrid. With the Vicente Calderon Stadium in the background and with the support of one of the legendary Atletico goalkeeper, Pepe Navarro, the young goalkeeper lands in the Athletic Club with confidence and with great enthusiasm. Clemente Villaverde, manager of Atletico, also would not miss the sunset over the Belgian, who once again was led by the presenter Gonzalo Miró.

Courtois value to the media upon arrival at Madrid club and said that "Madrid is a beautiful city, I really like. Everyone I talk to me like very good things in training and I feel very comfortable. I'm very excited. I have to work very hard to prove that I can win the confidence of the coach. "

"On a personal level I want to grow here. I am convinced that not have it easy, competition in goal is great and I give my best to prove myself. Joel and Asenjo are two great goalkeepers. Atletico Madrid is a big team and must have well covered the goal. Where competition in the goal is good because it makes each of us can take as much, "he said.

When asked about their qualities, the Belgian said "I have good reflexes and I'm good one on one." "I always had two models in my career, one is Casillas and another Van der Sar, I think I have a style like this. Now I focus on my work and strive to win things with this club, "he said.

Thibaut will wear the number 13. The goalkeeper knows he has to win the affection of the fans after the departure of David De Gea. "The Club has given me that number. A lot of weight because it is the number that was the last goalie. I just hope to keep up, "he said.

"This stadium can be up to 55,000 spectators. Pressure is something that affects me is something that makes me play better, I think that makes me play better, "he said.

On his future, remember you will be given a stint in the group coached by Gregorio Manzano, the Belgian said: "I like to stay here. I want to focus on making a good season and then would be great to stay two or three years here. "

And with regards to the last quote, if I recall the loan is for a season, but depending on how he does I guess it will be extended for another season, or perhaps even a third, possibly?

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Welcome to Chelsea Thibaut :) Best of luck with Atletico and hopefully you'll come back a good goalie and ready to challenge for the first team :)

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