Home European Championship Thibaut Courtois: Belgium goalkeeper ‘deeply disappointed’ after Domenico Tedesco said he had refused to travel

Thibaut Courtois: Belgium goalkeeper ‘deeply disappointed’ after Domenico Tedesco said he had refused to travel

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Thibaut Courtois

Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has represented his country in 102 matches, expressed significant dismay over allegations made by coach Domenico Tedesco that he declined to accompany the team to Estonia for Tuesday’s Euro 2024 qualifier match.

Tedesco claimed on Monday that Courtois took offense and left the squad after he was not chosen as the team captain for Saturday’s match against Austria. The coach selected Romelu Lukaku, another vice-captain, to lead the team for that match, with Courtois set to assume the captain’s role for Tuesday’s game in Tallinn.

Contrary to the coach’s accusations, the Real Madrid shot-stopper strongly refuted any claims that he had insisted on wearing the captain’s armband. He clarified that his decision to leave the squad following the 1-1 draw with Austria was due to a knee injury.

Despite the injury to Kevin de Bruyne, Lukaku was appointed as captain for Saturday’s match, while Courtois was slated to lead the team in the following match, said Tedesco, the Italian coach who succeeded Roberto Martinez in February.

Tedesco expressed his shock at Courtois’ reaction, stating, “In my view, he’s the best goalkeeper globally. I respect him both as a player and a person.”

However, Courtois offered a different perspective in a post on his website. He expressed his astonishment at Tedesco’s “biased and subjective narration of a private conversation.” He clarified that his discussion with the coach centered around strategic decisions to prevent past errors, all for the team’s collective benefit.

“The captaincy of the national team is not a frivolous or arbitrary decision; it should be the coach’s decision. That’s what I tried to communicate to him. Regrettably, I did not accomplish this,” said the former Chelsea goalkeeper.

Courtois explained that he underwent a medical examination for a knee issue on the previous day. After consulting with the medical teams of his club and the national squad, the decision was made to withdraw from the training camp.

Tedesco dismissed the claims made by Courtois’ father that the withdrawal was due to a knee injury, asserting he “cannot lie.”

Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen described the incident as a “regrettable situation” that disrupted the team’s unity.

With Courtois out, Matz Sels, formerly of Newcastle and currently with Strasbourg, will be the starting goalkeeper against Estonia.

Belgium is trailing Austria by three points in their qualifying group but has one game in hand.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Thibaut Courtois

Why did Thibaut Courtois leave the Belgian squad?

Courtois left the Belgian squad due to a knee injury. However, there was controversy surrounding his departure as the coach, Domenico Tedesco, claimed Courtois left because he was offended after not being chosen as the captain for the match against Austria.

Who was expected to captain the Belgian team in the absence of the injured Kevin de Bruyne?

In Kevin de Bruyne’s absence, striker Romelu Lukaku was appointed as the captain for the match against Austria. Thibaut Courtois was supposed to be the captain for the subsequent match against Estonia.

What was Domenico Tedesco’s response to Courtois leaving the squad?

Domenico Tedesco expressed shock at Courtois’ departure. He suggested that Courtois felt offended and disappointed after being overlooked for the captaincy against Austria.

What does Courtois say about the controversy surrounding the captaincy?

Courtois denied demanding the captain’s armband and stated that the issue of captaincy should be the coach’s decision. He expressed disappointment at the coach’s account of their private conversation.

Who will replace Thibaut Courtois in the match against Estonia?

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels, currently with Strasbourg, will replace Courtois for the match against Estonia.

More about Thibaut Courtois

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SoccerRumors June 20, 2023 - 2:42 am

If it’s true, its unprofessional. But we should remember its all speculation till now. The truth always comes out, just a matter of time.

RealMadridFan June 20, 2023 - 5:16 am

Hope Courtois knee is okay, we need him back in full form for the club matches! Forget the armband, health comes first.

Belgium4Life June 20, 2023 - 5:41 am

It’s a sad day when one of our own is accused of putting ego before country. i hope this all gets sorted out soon. We need unity to win, not drama!

GoalKeeperGuru June 20, 2023 - 10:55 am

Courtois is one of the best, if not the best goalie in the world. Can’t see him leaving over a captain’s band. Tedesco, hope you’ve not messed up big time.

SoccerFan101 June 20, 2023 - 4:05 pm

can’t believe Courtois was accused of refusing to travel just cause of captaincy! Isn’t it more plausible he got injured? let’s not jump to conclusions here, folks.


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