Madrid (AFP/APP): Zinedine Zidane insisted Friday that Thibaut Courtois was not the only one to blame for Real Madrid’s midweek Champions League 2-2 draw with Club Brugge after the La Liga club denied the Belgian goalkeeper was suffering from anxiety.
Zidane told a press conference that Courtois’ place in the starting line up was not guaranteed after he was substituted at half-time on Tuesday with Real two goals down at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the same went for all his players.
“He’s not the only one to blame for what happened in the first 45 minutes,” Zidane said of the 2-2 draw. “Okay he’s the ‘keeper and he let two goals in … but there is no right to error for any of us.” “Nobody’s place in the side is certain, neither Courtois nor anyone else. We also need to play well, and we need to score goals. There are 25 players and we need to be able to count on all of them.”
Spanish newspaper OK Diario alleged the 27-year-old Courtois went off due to anxiety, but Real said he left the field due to a stomach problem after having conceded two goals in 39 minutes to the Belgian club.
“Our player has never been diagnosed with alleged anxiety and, therefore, that information is absolutely false,” a Real statement said. “Thibaut Courtois has been diagnosed and treated for acute gastroenteritis.”
According to Spanish media, Courtois had to be driven home from the Bernabeu by his father as he was too unwell to drive himself. Courtois has only managed two cleans sheets in eight appearances this season.
The Belgium international missed training on Thursday and Friday and is likely to sit out Saturday’s La Liga fixture against Granada.