28.05.2024 12:57 h

Courtois misses out on Belgium Euro 2024 squad

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was not included in Belgium's Euro 2024 squad named on Tuesday as he recovers full fitness following a season marred by injury.

The 32-year-old ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee last August and then suffered a meniscus injury in March.

As a result, the former Chelsea shot-stopper did not make his comeback until the beginning of this month, although he did start four of Madrid's last five games of the season in La Liga.

"He was very honest with me," said Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco. "He knows his body. It is one thing to play three or four matches, but another to play the Euros."

Tedesco added: "He is not ready for the Euros, and we have to play with those who are able to."

The coach will have to choose a number one between Koen Casteels of Wolfsburg, Matz Sels of Nottingham Forest and Thomas Kaminski of Luton Town.

Meanwhile, veteran Atletico Madrid defender or midfielder Axel Witsel was included in the squad at the age of 35.

"We need him. He is experienced and can help the youngsters, whether he plays or not," said Tedesco, who also called up 37-year-old Anderlecht centre-back Jan Vertonghen and 19-year-old Atletico midfielder Arthur Vermeeren.

Belgium, who are in Group E at the Euros along with Slovakia, Romania and Ukraine, will play friendly matches against Montenegro on June 5 and Luxembourg on June 8 before heading to Germany for the tournament.