Domenico Tedesco has criticised Thibaut Courtois for abandoning the squad because he was not named as the team’s captain
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois denied manager Domenico Tedesco’s accusations that he abandoned the Belgium squad because he was not chosen as captain. Courtois clarified that he left the training camp due to a knee injury.
Despite playing in the 1-1 draw against Austria in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, Courtois informed Tedesco after the match that he would not be able to participate in Tuesday’s game against Estonia.
Tedesco claimed that Courtois was displeased with Lukaku being named captain for the Austria game instead of De Bruyne, who was injured.
However, Courtois, who is 31 years old and plays for Real Madrid, disagreed with this statement and responded to Tedesco.
“I want to make it clear that it is not the first time or the last time that I talk to a coach about issues related to a locker room, but it is the first time that someone decides to tell it publicly,” he said in a statement.
“I am deeply disappointed with this, but I want to make it clear that the coach’s assessments do not fit with reality.”
Courtois clarified that he had never made any requests to Tedesco and had already communicated with Lukaku to resolve any misunderstandings.
The goalkeeper, who has played in 102 matches since his first appearance for the national team in 2011, stated that he decided not to participate after having a medical examination for an issue with his right knee.
“The medical team of my club and the national team were in contact and reviewed all the corresponding material to make the decision to leave the training camp,” he added.
Thierry, his father, stated to Belgian media that he withdrew from the Estonia match due to a knee injury, but Tedesco rejected this claim.
“I wish I could say it’s an injury but I can’t lie,” said Tedesco, who described Courtois as the “best goalkeeper in the world”. “I always try to protect players but that’s impossible in this situation.”