Thibaut Courtois has thanked Chelsea for giving him the opportunity to make a name for himself in professional football.
The Belgian goalkeeper joined the Londoners from Genk in 2011 for a reported €9m, penning a five-year deal, and was immediately loaned to Atletico Madrid, where he went on to win several honours before a return to London.
Courtois’ decision to join Real Madrid this week was mainly due to his family living in the Spanish capital, as he pointed out.
"I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the four fantastic years that have passed," said the Belgian in a clip posted on social media. "Chelsea will always have a special place in my heart.
"I was very happy to be part of one of the biggest teams in the world. I fulfilled a childhood dream of playing in the Premier League.
"I want to say a huge thank you to all my teammates and the coaching staff, who I shared success and amazing moments with.
"I want to thank the fans for their great support. I hope you understand that being close to my children was considerable in my decision.
"I wish you all the best for the future. It was a great honour to be part of the Chelsea family."