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Real Madrid ace left national team due to captaincy snub, says coach: “Surprised & shocked”



Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images

The big news from the Belgian National Team earlier today was Thibaut Courtois’ sudden withdrawal from the camp. The goalkeeper started and played all 90 minutes against Austria at the weekend but has left the dynamics from immediate effect.

It did not take long for rumours about Courtois’ departure to make the rounds. The most backed theory of all was that the Real Madrid star was disappointed with the internal decisions taken over the team’s captaincy.

Belgium National Team manager Domenico Tedesco spoke to the media earlier today and confirmed that the vice-captain would play no part in the game against Estonia midweek. Further, he revealed the exact reason for the shot-stopper’s disappointment as revealed by Reuters.

“We decided together that Lukaku will captain against Austria & Courtois tomorrow. After last game, Courtois suddenly wanted to talk to me & told me that he was going home because he was disappointed & felt insulted.”

Tedesco then went on to explain how the decision was not one made on the spot but the result of elaborate discussions that took place months ago.

“I repeat it: I am surprised and shocked. We didn’t expect something like this to happen. In March we decided that De Bruyne would be captain and Lukaku and Courtois on an equal footing at the rank of vice-captain.”

The manager also went on to call the Real Madrid star the ‘best in the world’ and appeared to convey to the player that the decision was not made of any personal favouritism.

“From the beginning, I tried to show him the appreciation he deserves. In my eyes, he is the best goalkeeper in the world. I love him as a goalkeeper but also as a human being. I am shocked.”

Finally, the coach was asked to comment on whether the misunderstanding could mean the end of Courtois’ involvement with the National Team. Tedesco dodged the question, however, and understandably did not wish to make any public statements.

“It’s not the right time to say anything about that, because we have an important game tomorrow. The next games are in September and we will see then.”

There had been reports of Courtois walking out of the Belgian national team camp because of an alleged injury, but Tedesco flat-out declined those claims, stating that he was not injured.

“I wish I could say it’s an injury but I can’t lie,” the coach said. “I always try to protect players but that’s impossible in this situation. I tried to tell him to hold on for two more days.”

Given that the game against Austria was one with more competitive significance, it is possible the Real Madrid star felt hard done by being handed the captaincy against the easier team. After all, he is senior to Lukaku in terms of age.

The sudden turn of events is likely to mark the end of Courtois’ season, for a return to the national team for the ongoing window is unlikely. He is expected to return to training under Carlo Ancelotti on July 20th and could even face new competition at the club level next season.

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Real Madrid News

French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him



Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.

However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.

Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links

Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”

“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.

Tchouameni preferred Real Madrid over PSG (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.

Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.

Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid

Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.

Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.

Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.

The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.

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