Euro 2024: Why is Thibaut Courtois not playing in Ukraine vs Belgium?

Thibaut Courtois will not feature in Belgium’s Euro 2024 match against Ukraine at the Stuttgart Arena on Wednesday, after not making the 26-man squad that travelled to Germany. He will be replaced by Koen Casteels in goal.


This the first major international tournament since Euro 2012 in which Courtois is not featured in the Belgium squad.

Thibaut Courtois has featured in between the sticks for Belgium in every major tournament since the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But this season, he was ruled out of action during pre-season after tearing the ACL in his left knee last year.

He returned to action at the end of the season and featuring in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League final win against Borussia Dortmund, but Courtois was not included in the Belgium squad to travel to Germany.

Despite the recovery, it is believed that he was not included in the squad due to the enmity between him and coach Domenico Tedesco after a row over the captaincy of the national team, with Courtois accusing Tedesco of a breach of trust.

Belgian football association’s technical director Franck Vercauteren in a press conference said, “Unfortunately, we’ll play the European Championship without him. So now we no longer have to focus on that. It is the job of the federation to smooth out the wrinkles. That is absolutely a must.”

“We never doubted his qualities or that he would not be fit. So we must stop the matter now. Signals have been given that we must respect,” Vercauteren added.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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