BREAKING NEWS: Thibaut Courtois ‘not showing up for Belgium’ in row over Romelu Lukaku named captain ahead of him at 100th cap with bride-to-be watching – and ‘after the dressing room line’
- Romelu Lukaku led Belgium against Austria, to the anger of a team-mate
- Thibaut Courtois is furious at being neglected and did not show up at the hotel
- He cannot now start against Estonia, a match for which he was due to be named captain
Thibaut Courtois failed to show up for the Belgium international after Romelu Lukaku was named captain ahead of him for the draw against Austria, according to reports.
In the absence of regular skipper Kevin De Bruyne, Lukaku led the Red Devils on Saturday with Courtois passed for the role in a pre-planned move by Domenico Tedesco. Instead, the goalkeeper was expected to be the captain against Estonia.
However, Courtois was an exception to the decision and was not present when the squad gathered at their hotel to start preparations for their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifier.
It depends Het Nieuwsblad in his native country, who also highlighted the fact that the 31-year-old was honored for his 100th cap this weekend. His fiancée Mishel Gerzig had given him a special keepsake just a week before their wedding.
“Thibaut Courtois is very important to us,” Tedesco said on Saturday night. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
Thibaut Courtois failed to report for Belgian duty after being wanted for captaincy
Romelu Lukaku led the team to the draw with Austria, to the ire of the goalkeeper
According to reports in his homeland, Courtois did not join the rest of the squad at their hotel
‘Saturday I had a conversation with Romelu and Thibaut about the captaincy. Against Austria it was Lukaku, against Estonia, Thibaut has the merit.
“It’s important to us that he feels valued.”
Courtois is said to have ripped through a number of team-mates in the dressing room after the final whistle, a game in which striker Lukaku’s equalizer spared his side blushes, with players believing there was more to his bluster after his absence.
Real Madrid striker Courtois also has a minor injury, the same post adds, although Tedesco’s side are unaware of a possible setback.
It’s unclear at this time how Tedesco will react to the veteran player’s drastic decision, but a press conference scheduled for tonight could shed more light.
Substitute keeper Matz Sels, formerly on Newcastle’s books, could even replace Courtois between the sticks tomorrow, with Koen Casteels ruled out.
The cap was honored for his 100th cap, with fiancée Mishel Gerzig presenting him with a gift
The couple are set to wed next week and have been dating since the summer of 2021
Courtois has played a total of 102 times for Belgium but is set to be dropped against Estonia
Reserve options Thomas Kaminski and Arnaud Bodart are also in the running to play.
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Courtois made 102 total appearances for Belgium and made his senior debut in a goalless draw with France in 2011.
He is yet to enjoy major success on the international stage, but did pick up a World Cup bronze medal after his country finished third in Russia in 2018.
Belgium currently sit second in their qualifying group with four points, behind leaders Austria – who have played one game more – by three points.
De Bruyne, meanwhile, will return to action in September after breaking his hamstring in Manchester City’s Champions League final win over Inter Milan.
Red Devils boss Domenico Tedesco will address the issue at his press conference today