Written by on October 12, 2021

Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has accused football authorities of prioritising revenue over player welfare in a damning assessment of the global football calendar.

Courtois, 29, was speaking after his country’s 2-1 loss to Italy in the third-place play-off in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday. A match he described as pointless.

Both countries made a number of changes to their starting line-ups from their respective semi-final defeat in midweek, with Belgium unable to call upon captain Eden Hazard and striker Romelu Lukaku due to muscle fatigue.

This game is just a money game, we have to be honest about it. We just play it because for Uefa it is extra money and it is an extra game on TV.

OK, for us it’s a good game because it’s against Italy and for Italy it’s a good game because it’s against Belgium, but look how much both teams changed their players – if we had both been in the final there would have been others playing.

This just shows that we play too many games. Next year we have a World Cup in November, we maybe have to play until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured and nobody cares about the players anymore.

Courtois, who plays his club football for Real Madrid – one of the clubs behind the failed Super League concept, also criticized proposals by FIFA to stage the World Cup finals every two years.

Continuing in his criticism, Courtois said;

They [UEFA] made an extra trophy [UEFA Conference League]… it is always the same. They can be angry about other teams wanting a Super League but they don’t care about the players, they just care about their pockets.

It’s a bad thing that players are not spoken about. And now you hear about a European Championship and a World Cup.

The Real Madrid shot-stopper has a trophy cabinet laden with medals including a FIFA Club World Cup and La Liga title with Real Madrid, UEFA Europa League, La Liga, Copa Del Rey and UEFA Super Cup titles with Atletico Madrid, a Football League Cup, an FA Cup and two Premier League titles with Chelsea FC.

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