TURIN: Thibaut Courtois has accused both football’s major governing bodies of prioritising money over the welfare of top players.
Real Madrid’s goalkeeper was speaking after Belgium finished fourth in the UEFA Nations League this week. They lost to France in the semi-finals and to hosts Italy in the losers’ playoff.
Many current players have criticised world body FIFA’s proposal for a World Cup every two years but Courtois also incuded European governing body UEFA in his criticisms.
He said: “This [Nations League] game is just a money game, we have to be honest about it,” he told Sky Sports.
“We just play it because for Uefa it is extra money and it is an extra game on TV.
“OK, for us it’s a good game because it’s against Italy and for Italy it’s a good game because it’s against Belgium, but look how much both teams changed their players – if we had both been in the final there would have been others playing.”
Forwards Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were two of the absentees for Sunday’s game – which Italy won 2-1 – with players suffering from muscular problems after featuring in the semi-final loss to France three days earlier.
Courtois added: “This just shows that we play too many games. Next year we have a World Cup in November, we maybe have to play until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured and nobody cares about the players any more.
“After a long season we will have to play four games in the Nations League again, we will have two weeks’ holiday and that’s not enough for players to be able to continue playing 12 months at the highest level.
“If we never say anything it will always be the same. They (UEFA) can be angry about other teams making a Super League but they don’t care about the players, they just care about their pockets.”