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

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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

Real Madrid out-of-favour defender now unlikely to leave the club

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid missed out on the signing of Leny Yoro after deciding not to match Manchester United’s offer for the 18-year-old defender.

With the French prodigy now on his way to the Premier League, Los Blancos are assessing their options before deciding whether to sign a new centre-back or not.

As things stand, the reigning champions of Spain and Europe seem to be leaning towards relying on their existing options rather than going into the market.

Jesus Vallejo unlikely to leave

As such, MARCA reports that the likelihood of Jesus Vallejo leaving the club have now significantly reduced.

Indeed, the 27-year-old out-of-favour defender now appears more and more likely to continue at Real Madrid beyond this summer.

Set to stay. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Vallejo returned to the Santiago Bernabeu after finishing his loan stint at Granada during which he hardly played due to injury and fitness woes.

As such, reports suggested that Carlo Ancelotti & co. were not planning on counting on him next season, even though he was handed a new shirt number recently.

But with the Leny Yoro operation collapsing and Real Madrid not keen on recruiting anyone from the market at this point, the Spanish ace is now unlikely to leave the club.

With David Alaba still sidelined, Antonio Rudiger and Eder Militao will start the new season as the first-choice centre-back pairing and Vallejo will serve as the backup while Aurelien Tchouameni will also be an option.

Vallejo, for his part, wanted to stay put and see out his contract which expires in 2025. And, as things stand, it appears that the player will get his wish.

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