PHOTO: Courtois says goodbye to Atletico, returns to Chelsea

Atletico Madrid

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said his final goodbyes to Atletico Madrid today, as the Belgian returns to Chelsea.

It was a stunning season for Atletico Madrid, as Diego Simeone's men not only won their first La Liga title in almost 20 years, but they also reached the Champions League final, only to be cruelly beaten by city rivals Real Madrid in Lisbon. The team is almost suffering from its success, as Filipe Luis and Diego Costa get ready to become Chelsea players this summer.

Yet one loss to the Blues which Atletico knew was coming was that of goalkeeper Courtois. The 22-year-old signed for Chelsea from Genk back in 2011, but was immediately farmed out on loan with Petr Cech the unquestionable first choice shot stopper at Stamford Bridge.

Courtois has spent the last three seasons at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, and he's become the finest young goalkeeper in world football during his time there, but Simeone's men knew the day would come where Chelsea wanted Courtois back - and that appears to have been today.

The Belgian international, who has starred at the World Cup, went to the Atletico training ground today to collect his belongings and say his final goodbyes to the each member of the Atletico squad, thanking them individually for his time with the club.

He now returns to West London, with his position alongside Cech not much clearer than it was the day he arrived. The Czech Republic international, 32, is still the No. 1 for Jose Mourinho's side, but some errors last season cost the Blues, and some fans will now want Courtois to replace him between the sticks.

It's an embarrassment of riches for Mourinho, but one goalkeeper will end up disappointed with his decision - whatever that may be, and whenever that may be. All that we do know is that Courtois has benefited hugely from his time in the Spanish capital, and Atletico will certainly miss his presence in goal in the future.

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