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Domenico Tedesco comments on Thibaut Courtois absence from Belgium Euro 2024 squad

Tedesco comments on Courtois absence from Belgium Euro 2024 squad
© Reuters
Belgium head coach Domenico Tedesco reveals why the decision was taken to omit goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from the nation's Euro 2024 squad.

Belgium head coach Domenico Tedesco has revealed that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois does not feature in his Euro 2024 squad because he is "not ready".

The Real Madrid stopper won the last of his 102 caps when representing Belgium against Austria in a qualifying fixture last June.

Since then, Courtois has suffered with long-term knee issues, a meniscus tear following a cruciate ligament injury sustained last summer.

Courtois has since recovered to make four starts for Real Madrid in La Liga, not conceding a single goal in his 333 minutes on the pitch.

As a result, Courtois is in contention with Andriy Lunin to start Saturday's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium.

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois on May 4, 2024© Reuters

Courtois "not ready" for tournament football

During that run of four starts, Courtois came through unscathed when he started games that took place three days apart on May 11 and May 14 respectively.

Nevertheless, when quizzed on Courtois's absence from the squad, Tedesco revealed that the player had acknowledged he may not be able to handle such a workload.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Tedesco said: "He was honest and he was clear that really early in the way that he communicated, so of course he knows his body the best.

"It is something different to play every three days or four days during a tournament so this is the last information that we taken into consideration that he is not ready for the Euros

"Then, of course, we planned with the players that can play."

Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco on November 19, 2023© Reuters

Tedesco explains thinking behind reduced squad

Unlike other nations, Tedesco has only selected three goalkeepers in his squad, with there having been the option of Courtois featuring in the group.

Tedesco has only selected a 25-player squad - one fewer than the limit of 26 - but the Red Devils coach has admitted he is comfortable with the decision.

He added "We thought about this. We spoke with Max (Urwantschky), our goalkeeper coach. Of course, you have some advantages if you have four, especially for training sessions, but we don't want a big, big, big squad. We try to avoid."

Later in the media briefing, Tedesco revealed that he preferred the initial 23-player limit, feeling it would have created more unity within the group.

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Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco before the match on March 23, 2024
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Belgium Euro 2024 squad: Who makes the cut? Which stars have missed out?
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Euro 2024 fixtures header
Sunday, June 23
Monday, June 24
Tuesday, June 25
Wednesday, June 26
Saturday, June 29
Sunday, June 30
Monday, July 1
Tuesday, July 2
Friday, July 5
Saturday, July 6
Tuesday, July 9
Wednesday, July 10
Sunday, July 14
Tables header RHS

Group A

Q Germany Germany22006
2 Switzerland Switzerland21104
3 Scotland flag Scotland20111
4 Hungary Hungary20020

Group B

Q Spain Spain22006
2 Italy Italy21013
3 Albania national flag Albania20111
4 Croatia Croatia20111

Group C

1 England flag England21104
2 Denmark Denmark20202
3 Slovenia Slovenia20202
4 Serbia Serbia20111

Group D

1 Netherlands Netherlands21104
2 France France21104
3 Austria Austria21013
4 Poland Poland20020

Group E

1 Romania Romania21013
2 Belgium Belgium21013
3 Slovakia Slovakia21013
4 Ukraine Ukraine21013

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal22006
2 Turkey Turkey21013
3 Czech Republic Czech Republic20111
4 Georgia Georgia20111

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