Tearful Thibaut Courtois doesn’t plan to stay at Chelsea for long-term, explains where his future lies

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Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is just 24 and could have another 10+ years as an elite stopper.

But the 6′ 6″ Belgian does not plan to remain at Stamford Bridge for the remainder of his career.

Instead, he wants to return to Spain, where he enjoyed three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid between 2011 and 2014.

“I feel half Spanish,” Courtois told Marca. “When I said goodbye I had a bad time. It was not easy and I cried.

“Atletico is a family club. I still feel their love.”

When asked if he plans to return to Spain, Courtois added: “Yes, but not only because of the club, but how Madrid is and the whole country.

“From the first minute I fell in love with Spain for its people, lifestyle and food. I still maintain eating dinner and then an afternoon nap, most of the TV I watch is Spanish.”

Courtois made 111 La Liga starts for Atletico, featuring in 37 league games three seasons in a row.

His best season was his final campaign in 2013-14 when Atletico were crowned champions of Spain, while they also reached the Champions League final.

Courtois also added the 2012 Europa League and the 2013 Copa del Rey to his list of honours during his time with Atletico.

Upon returning to Chelsea, Courtois continued his winning habit by helping the Blues lift the Premier League trophy in 2015.

His current contract runs until June 2018, but he plans to make a decision on his Chelsea future in 2017.

He added: “I have a contract at Chelsea for three seasons. In 2018, when I enter the final year of the contract, we will assess whether to renew or leave.”

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