Thibaut Courtois had to take down an Instagram post saying goodbye to Chelsea after it provoked a furious reaction from fans, while former Chelsea captain John Terry disabled comments on a post praising the stopper.
The Belgium international has completed a £35million move to the Champions League winners, with Chelsea confirming the signing of Athletic Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to replace him for a record of £71m.
Terry called Courtois ‘the best keeper in the world’ in a tribute, but switched off the comment function on the post.
In the original post, Courtois said: ”With these few words I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the four fantastic years that have passed. Chelsea FC will always have a special place in my heart.
‘I was only nineteen years old when the club showed a great belief in my abilities.
The fact that such a big club was already following me was like a dream come true. The decision to first send me away helped me grow into a goalkeeper fit for Chelsea FC.’
While the post and all comments were removed after just half an hour, Courtois was also criticised by fans on Chelsea’s Twitter post confirming his departure.
One Twitter user said: ‘Good bye, you won’t be missed.’
Another said: ‘Good riddance,’ as many Chelsea fans vented their anger at the Belgium keeper.
Praising Chelsea’s staff in his goodbye post, Courtois said: ‘When I returned I was very happy to be part of one of the biggest teams in the world. I fulfilled a childhood dream playing in the Premier League, therefore I am really proud that we were able to win two Premier League titles, a League Cup and a FA Cup.
‘A huge thank you to all my teammates and technical staff over the past four years who I shared this success and amazing memories, both on and off the pitch.
The team would never be successful without the help of all the other members who are devoted to the players and the club, such as the medical department, kit men and all the others I can’t thank separately!
‘Last but not least I want to thank the fans for their great support over the years. I hope you understand that being closer to my kids was considerable in my decision.
‘I wish you all the best for the future. It was a great honour to be part of the CFC family.
In a post on Thursday morning, Terry said: ‘Good luck Thibaut Courtois in your new chapter at Real Madrid. A great man and for me the best keeper in the world.
‘We welcome Kepa Arrizabalaga to our club and hope he can be as successful as you and Petr Cech.’
It gained more than 81,000 likes, but Instagram users were unable to leave comments below the photo of Courtois.
The fee for Arrizabalaga eclipses the previous £66m Liverpool paid to Roma for Alisson to make Arrizabalaga the most expensive keeper in history.
THIBAUT COURTOIS CAREER STATS
Years Team Apps (CS)
2009-2011 Genk 45 14
2011- Chelsea 154 58
2011-2014 Atletico Madrid (loan) 154 76.
As part of the deal, Croatia international Mateo Kovacic has moved from Real Madrid to Stamford Bridge on loan.
Sevilla’s Sergio Rico and Stoke’s Jack Butland were among other options considered by the club before deciding to break their transfer record for Spain keeper Arrizabalaga.
While both players were considerably cheaper, Chelsea hierarchy believed the pair have been more inconsistent.