He rarely puts his gloves in front of his mouth to speak. Thibaut Courtois, the goalkeeper for Belgium and Real Madrid, came out very frustrated from his week in the League of Nations. Not because of the elimination, in added time, Thursday night against France in the semi-finals (2-3). But for having had to play a match for third place on Sunday afternoon against Italy. There too lost (1-2). For Courtois, this last meeting made no sporting sense.
“It’s only a game for money, you have to be honest, he said in the corridors of Juventus Stadium after the match. We played this game because for UEFA it’s extra money. For us, it’s a good match because it’s Italy opposite. But look at all the changes the two teams have made for this meeting… If Belgium or Italy were in the final, there wouldn’t have been so many changes. It just shows that we are playing too many games. Next year we have a World Cup in November and we have to play again until the end of June. We are going to get hurt! Nobody cares about the players anymore. “
” We are not Robots “
Wearing, almost in spite of himself, the cap of a players’ unionist, Courtois recalls that the desire of UEFA and Fifa is to increase the number of events without worrying about the health of the players. “Three weeks of vacation is not enough for players to play for 12 months at the highest level,” he continues. If we never say anything, it will always be the same… UEFA has yet created a new competition with the Europa League Conference (a third European Cup contested in particular by Rennes). They can be mad at teams that want a Super League, but managers don’t care about the players, they just care about their pockets. “
On the desire of Fifa to play a World Cup every two years, Courtois is just as recovered. “It’s a bad thing that we don’t talk about the players. And now you hear about a European Championship and a World Cup every year. When are we going to rest? Never. So, in the end, the best players will be hurt (…) We are not robots! It’s just more and more games and less and less rest for us and nobody cares. “