‘It’s a useless game I don’t know why we are playing’: Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois unhappy to play Italy in Nations League third place play-off after they threw away a 2-0 lead in the semi-finals against France
- Belgium will face Italy in a third place play-off after their dramatic loss to France
- Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is unhappy to play what he calls a ‘useless game’
- His side threw away a 2-0 lead in their 3-2 semi-final defeat to France
Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is unhappy they have to face Italy in a battle for third place at the Nations League, describing it as a ‘useless game’.
Roberto Martinez’s side threw away a 2-0 lead against France to crash out of the semi-finals with a 3-2 defeat, meaning the country’s ‘golden generation’ are still to win a trophy.
With defeat, the Belgians have set up a third place play-off against Euro 2020 champions Italy, who were knocked out after a 2-1 defeat to Spain.
Thibaut Courtois has hit out at the ‘useless’ third place play-off Belgium will have to play
As reported by Football Italia, Courtois told Belgian publication Nieuwsblad that they are ‘playing for nothing’.
He added: ‘As always, when you have a 2-0 lead, you can’t throw away the win – but we did.
‘We are playing for nothing. To arrive third or fourth in the Nations League is not interesting for anyone.
Belgium’s wait for an international trophy goes on after Thursday’s dramatic loss to France
They will face Italy on Sunday after the Euro 2020 champions’ 2-1 defeat against Spain
‘It’s a useless game. I don’t know why we are playing, it’s like a training match.’
Similar criticisms have been thrown at the World Cup which also has a third place play-off, something Belgium won back in 2018 at Russia with a 2-0 victory against England.
Belgium had looked like they might 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 first-half lead as they crashed out in the semi-finals to France
France pegged them back in the second-half with goals from Karim Benzema and a Kylian Mbappe penalty.
Lukaku thought he scored a late winner which was ruled out for offside before Theo Hernandez thrashed home a third goal to send the French through to Sunday’s final.
Belgium will play Italy ahead of the final on Sunday afternoon at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.