Belgium squad 'disappointed' with Thibaut Courtois as Yannick Carrasco suggests keeper was 'embarrassed' by captaincy call

Thibaut Courtois Belgium 2022 World CupGetty
  • Thibaut Courtois left Belgium camp
  • Keeper in conflict with boss Domenico Tedesco
  • Belgian team-mate Yannick Carrasco speaks out

WHAT HAPPENED? Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said he was "deeply disappointed" with Belgium boss Domenico Tedesco for saying he had refused to travel with the Red Devils to Estonia for Tuesday's Euro 2024 qualifier. Tedesco said Romelu Lukaku would captain the side against Austria, a game they drew 1-1, and the 31-year-old would take up skipper duties against Estonia. But, the former RB Leipzig boss claimed the Courtois left the squad because he was "offended" at the decision. The stopper, who said he left the squad due to a knee injury, denied this, and criticised Tedesco's "partial and subjective account of a private conversation". Now, fellow Belgian international Yannick Carrasco has had his say on the matter.

WHAT THEY SAID: Carrasco told journalist Manuel Jous, via RTBF: "We've more or less understood what happened. We had a meeting with the coach, who was clear with us. We, the older players, haven't yet had the opportunity to speak with Thibaut. But we were disappointed with his reaction.

"At the end of the day, he's a key member of the team, one of the three captains. An armband is just a detail. You have to show that you're a leader and a captain with your own personality. He chose to leave. Whether he was embarrassed or not, we don't know. But one of the reasons he left was also the armband. Now that's clear."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen said this turn of events was a "sad situation", adding their preparations had been "disrupted". As a result, Strasbourg keeper Matz Sels started in Courtois' place as they beat Estonia 3-0 in Tallinn. The result means they sit three points behind Group F leaders Austria, but they have a game in hand. This is not the first time there has been friction in Belgium's camp as there was in-fighting at the 2022 World Cup, where they exited at the group stage, as well.


Thibaut Courtois Belgium 2022Getty Images20230208_Domenico_Tedesco(C)Getty images

WHAT NEXT? The national stars will now enjoy their summer breaks after a gruelling season, before returning to Euro 2024 qualifying action with games against Azerbaijan and Estonia in September.