National coach Tedesco ‘surprised and shocked’ after sudden departure of Courtois at Belgium
A captain’s riot in Belgium: goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has left the national team because he was not allowed to wear the belt against Austria. That’s what national coach Domenico Tedesco said today at a press briefing. “I am still surprised and shocked,” he said.
After last Saturday’s European Championship qualifier, the 31-year-old goalkeeper sought out the coach: “He told me he was disappointed and felt humiliated. He wanted to leave. I tried to persuade him not to.”
Due to Kevin De Bruyne’s absence, Courtois would take the captaincy alongside Romelu Lukaku during the current international period. Against Austria, Lukaku was the captain and Courtois would wear the belt during tomorrow night’s game with Estonia.
The goalkeeper, who was honored for his 100th international before the game with Austria, did not agree with that arrangement and therefore decided to skip the trip to Estonia.
Belgium came up short of a 1-1 draw against Austria. After two European Championship qualifiers, Tedesco’s selection has four points.
Whether Courtois will return to the squad is still unclear. “We have an important match against Estonia tomorrow and I want everyone to focus on that, even if it won’t be easy. Now is not the right time to talk about the future.”
“It was Courtois’ decision to leave. There is still a lot of time until the next games in September, we can talk about it later,” the coach said.