Real Madrid await news on Thibaut Courtois injury ahead of Club World Cup

Thibaut Courtois may not make it to Morocco
Thibaut Courtois may not make it to Morocco / Denis Doyle/GettyImages

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is an injury doubt for the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco, where Los Blancos will be hoping to win their eighth global title.

Courtois was part of Real’s most recent Club World Cup triumph in 2018 just a few months after completing his switch from Chelsea.

But the Belgian stopper suffered a groin injury in the warm-up prior to Sunday’s La Liga defeat to Mallorca and dropped to the bench prior to kick-off to be replaced by Andriy Lunin.

Marca has reported that the outlook from initial scans were not good and that Courtois will undergo further tests on Monday morning. But the publication describes it as ‘likely’ the player will be ruled out of the Club World Cup when the team fly later in the day.

Real also have doubts about the fitness of striker Karim Benzema and defender Eder Militao, who both suffered injuries in last week's victory over Valencia.

With Europe’s champions always earning a bye to the semi-finals, Real will begin their tournament against Egyptian side Al Ahly on 8 February.

The CAF Champions League runners-up took the place usually reserved for local champions due to Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca qualifying as African champions.

As such, Al Ahly started in the first round against semi-professional Auckland City from New Zealand, winning 3-0, and followed that up with a 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders in the second round.

Real will go into the game as heavy favourites and would be expected to meet Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo in the final, which is rarely anything other than Europe vs South America.

Flamengo must first overcome a semi-final of their own against Asian champions Al-Hilal from Saudi Arabia, who saw off Wydad Casablanca on penalties.

Only five of 18 FIFA Club World Cup finals have included a team from somewhere other than Europe or South America, with the most recent in 2020 when Bayern Munich beat North & Central American representative Tigres of Mexico.

The last non-European winner was Corinthians back in 2012 after beating Chelsea. Brazilian sides also won the first three editions of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2000, 2005 and 2006.