‘It’s a useless game, I don’t know why we’re playing’: Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois unhappy to play Italy in Nations League third place after squandering a 2-0 lead in semi-finals against France
- Belgium will face Italy in a play-off for third place after their dramatic loss to France
- Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is unhappy playing what he calls a ‘useless game’
- His side threw away a 2-0 lead in their 3-2 semi-final defeat to France
Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is not happy to face Italy in a battle for third place in the Nations League, describing it as a ‘useless game’.
Roberto Martinez’s side threw away a 2-0 lead against France and crashed out of the semi-final with a 3-2 loss, meaning the country’s ‘golden generation’ has yet to win a trophy.
With a defeat, the Belgians have secured a third-place play-off against European Championship 2020 champions Italy, who were eliminated after a 2-1 loss to Spain.
Thibaut Courtois has slammed on the ‘useless’ third-place play-off Belgium will have to play
As reported by Football Italia, Courtois told the Belgian newspaper that they are “playing for nothing”.
He added: “As always, when you’re leading 2-0 you can’t throw away the win, but we did.
‘We play for nothing. Finishing third or fourth in the Nations League is not interesting for anyone.
Belgium’s wait for an international trophy continues after Thursday’s dramatic loss to France
They take on Italy on Sunday after the 2-1 defeat of the Euro 2020 champions against Spain
‘It’s a useless game. I don’t know why we’re playing, it’s like a training match.’
Similar criticism has been leveled at the World Cup, which also features a third-place play-off, something Belgium won in Russia in 2018 with a 2-0 win over England.
It looked like Belgium would advance to the final after taking a 2-0 lead against France on Thursday, thanks to first-half goals from Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku.
Belgium threw away a 2-0 lead in the first half when they crashed to France in the semi-finals
France put them back in the second half with goals from Karim Benzema and a penalty from Kylian Mbappe.
Lukaku thought he scored a late winner, but was ruled out for offside before Theo Hernandez netted a third goal to send the French through to Sunday’s final.
Belgium will play against Italy for the final at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on Sunday afternoon.