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Euro 2024: Belgium announce provisional squad, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois NOT included; check full list

Real Madrid's Thibaut Courtois has been excluded from Belgium's Euro 2024 squad, leading to fan disappointment. The decision follows his injury struggles and public fallout with manager Domenico Tedesco. Meanwhile, the squad includes notable players like Kevin De Bruyne and Jan Vertonghen as Belgium aims for a strong tournament performance.

Football Euro 2024: Belgium announce provisional squad, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois NOT included; check full list osf
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First Published May 28, 2024, 3:01 PM IST

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, capped 102 times for Belgium, has been left out of the Euro 2024 squad, leading fans to lament that their 'golden generation turned bronze.'

The 32-year-old missed most of the season due to a knee ligament injury and required another operation in March. Although he made a brief return to play four games for Real Madrid earlier this month, Courtois' absence from the Belgian squad has been confirmed.

Courtois' future with Belgium was already in doubt after he publicly called manager Domenico Tedesco a liar. The tension began when Courtois was snubbed for the captaincy in matches against Austria and Estonia last June, following Eden Hazard's retirement. Courtois accused both Tedesco and the Belgian Football Federation of not appreciating him.

Last month, further controversy arose when Tedesco claimed he had done everything to ensure Courtois could play for Belgium again. Courtois responded to this claim with three Pinocchio emojis on social media, indicating his disbelief.

Courtois debuted for Belgium in 2011 at the age of 19 and has since made 101 more appearances. However, he confirmed in December that he would not be fit enough for Euro 2024 in Germany.

Meanwhile, the squad includes Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne, Jeremy Doku, former Premier League striker Romelu Lukaku, and Arsenal winger Leandro Trossard. Another surprise was the recall of Axel Witsel, despite the 35-year-old announcing his international retirement last year. Tedesco personally visited the Atletico Madrid defender to persuade him to return, and his efforts succeeded. Witsel, who has 130 caps, last played at the World Cup in Qatar, where Belgium exited in the group stage.

Belgium's most-capped player, Jan Vertonghen, 36, has also been included. However, Fenerbahce's Michy Batshuayi, who has 27 goals in 55 caps, is another notable absentee.

Belgium's squad announcement sparked reactions from fans, with one commenting, "Golden generation turned bronze," while others predicted early exits for the team.

Belgium Euro 2024 Squad

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg), Thomas Kaminski (Luton Town), Matz Sels (Nottingham Forest)

Defenders: Timothy Castagne (Fulham), Maxim De Cuyper (Club Brugge), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Wout Faes (Leicester City), Thomas Meunier (Trabzonspor), Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Arthur Theate (Stade Rennais), Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Al Shabab), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Orel Mangala (Olympique Lyonnais), Amadou Onana (Everton), Youri Tielemans (Aston Villa), Arthur Vermeeren (Atletico Madrid), Aster Vranckx (VfL Wolfsburg)

Forwards: Johan Bakayoko (PSV Eindhoven), Charles De Ketelaere (Atalanta), Jeremy Doku (Manchester City), Romelu Lukaku (Roma), Dodi Lukebakio (Sevilla), Lois Openda (RB Leipzig), Leandro Trossard (Arsenal).

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