Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois blasts UEFA for prioritising profit over player welfare

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Courtois was not pleased about having to playoff for third
Courtois was not pleased about having to playoff for third / Marco Canoniero/GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois has hit out at the footballing authorities after Belgium's UEFA Nations League third-place playoff defeat to Italy, claiming that they only "care about their pockets" and warning that players will get injured if the footballing calendar continues to be so congested.

Courtois was critical that UEFA made the two sides play off for a bronze medal in the lead up to the game, describing the match as "pointless".

He was even more scathing after his side had slipped to a 2-1 loss, taking aim at the powers that be for their lack of concern for player welfare.

"This game is just a money game and we have to be honest about it," said Courtois.

"We just play it because for UEFA it's extra money. Look at how much both teams changed [lineups]. If both teams would have been in the final there would have been other players in the final playing.

"This just shows that we play too many games."

Courtois continued his criticism as the post-match interview progressed, going on to point out the hypocrisy of UEFA and FIFA's opposition to the Super League.

"They [UEFA] made an extra trophy [UEFA Conference League]… it is always the same," he said.

"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 every year, when will we get a rest? Never."

He added: "So in the end top players will get injured and injured and injured. It's something that should be much better and much more taken care of."

"We are not robots! It's just more and more games and less rest for us and nobody cares about us.

"Next year we have a World Cup in November, we have to play until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured! Nobody cares about the players anymore.

"Three weeks of holiday is not enough for players to be able to continue for 12 months at the highest level. If we never say anything it [will be] always the same."