Chelsea’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was annoyed with his club team-mate Eden Hazard for putting his clean sheet at risk whilst the pair were away on international duty for Belgium, it has been revealed.
Belgium were up against Gibraltar in a Group H World Cup qualifying match on Monday night, with Christian Benteke notching up the quickest World Cup qualifying goal ever after just six seconds on the way to helping the Red Devils secure a 6-0 win. It meant that Belgium have now won all three of their qualifying games, scoring thirteen goals without response in the process.
That nearly came to an end against Gibraltar, however, when Eden Hazard decided to indulge in a bit of show-boating towards the end of the game. It was an action that annoyed his goalkeeper for both international matches and at Stamford Bridge, according to quotes in the Daily Mirror newspaper.
The tabloid has printed an interview with Courtois in which he admonishes the midfielder. He said, “I was angry with Eden Hazard because he tried a backheel in a part of the pitch where he shouldn’t have”.
The sloppy play from Hazard allowed Gibraltar a chance at Courtois’ goal and he admitted that he would have been furious to lose his hat-trick of clean sheets. He continued, “I absolutely wanted to keep a clean sheet. I yelled to everyone, who understood that we had to stay sharp. We had little to gain here”.
Courtois, who was bought by Chelsea from Genk in 2011 for a fee believed to be in the region of £8 million, knows that Belgium under-performed at the European Championships in France in the summer and need to improve if they’re to have any hope of making an impact at the World Cup in 2018. Given the scant amount of time they spend together as a team the 24-year-old understands that it’s important they remain focussed at all times.
Speaking about the game and the opposition they were up against the Blues goalkeeper said, “We showed we respected our opponent. We have one-and-a-half more years to improve and be ready for the World Cup”.
Belgium have one more World Cup qualifier in this calendar year when they welcome Estonia next month. Meanwhile Courtois and Hazard will have to put their differences aside for this Saturday’s visit of the defending Premier League champions Leicester City to Stamford Bridge. The Foxes have endured a mixed start to the season and will be keen to show their former midfielder N’Golo Kante that he made a mistake leaving them for Antonio Conte’s side in the summer.