efe-epaMadrid

Spain’s Atletico Madrid announced Wednesday that its Slovenia goalkeeper Jan Oblak had signed a two-year contract extension that ties him to the La Liga side until June 30, 2023.

The 26-year-old Oblak became an essential player for Atletico Madrid since he joined the club in July 2014 on a transfer from Portugal’s Benfica.

“I'm very happy to have signed a contract extension and to be here,” Oblak was quoted by the club’s website as saying.

During his five years in Atleico so far, Oblak has worn the team’s jersey in a total of 203 matches, in which he kept 115 clean sheets (56.6 per cent), winning three titles with the club, including the 2014-2015 Spanish Super Cup, the 2017-2018 UEFA Europa League and the 2018-2019 UEFA Super Cup.

“It's my fifth year here,” the keeper expressed. “I did not imagine that the time was going to fly so fast, but here I am, I've always done my best,” the international keeper added.

Oblak’s previous contract with the Spanish club was supposed to expire in June 2021.

“I'm going to defend these colors to the best of my abilities and continue working hard,” he expressed.

Atletico did not reveal the conditions of this contract renewal, which is expected to include an increase of the buyout clause to be 120 million euros ($135.6 million), about 20 million euros more than the previous contract.

Increasing the buyout clause was the main point of negotiation between the club and the player.

“I would like to thank everyone for helping me to be here, and especially my representative, Miha Mlakar, who is accompanying me throughout my whole career and who has done everything possible to renew the contract,” Oblak said, thanking also the club management and his own family.

Oblak has become the regular goalkeeper of Atletico team for four years now, just eight months after the club paid 18 million euros to sign him in order to replace Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois who has returned to England’s Chelsea after ending a three-season loan spell in La Liga club.

Oblak’s debut with Atletico dates back to Sep. 16, 2014, in the 3-2 Champions League defeat to Greece’s Olympiacos, while his first La Liga match was on Mar. 21, 2015 against Getafe. EFE

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