At the end of Euro 2016, after a quarter final defeat to Wales, Thibaut Courtois made it very clear he wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of manager Marc Wilmots.
That came not long after claims the two had been in a dressing room row, disagreeing over tactics and the approach of the Belgium national team.
Chelsea’s Courtois wasn’t the only player to speak out, and similar has continued despite Wilmots leaving his position. Kevin de Bruyne recently questioned the way the team is going under Roberto Martinez and made it clear he won’t be afraid to do so again in the future.
Belgium have a very talented national selection, with confident and assertive players like the Chelsea and Manchester City stars, and it will be no surprise if there’s further issues in the summer.
Wilmots isn’t the type to take things lying down and there’s been several soft snipes back since. But now he’s gone all out for Courtois, or at least the goalkeeper’s father.
Speaking to beIN Sports, via L’Equipe, Wilmots accused the Chelsea player’s dad of leaking team news: “I just have a problem when I make my theory at 18h and at 18h15 it is on all networks (social). It means that a player has sold the selection. And that’s serious. It came back to me from several French journalists that Papa Courtois was doing it. It means that you do not respect your homeland.
“I find it a shame because I have to wait an hour before the match to have the opposing composition. And that’s terrible. The opponent is gaining time. He can prepare everything. He knows everything. And that’s really dramatic. It never happened at the World Cup in Brazil.”
Those are quite some accusations, and Belgium’s DH have spoken to Courtois’ father, Thierry, who called it ‘slander’ and added: “I never in my life communicated a team composition to any journalist! Being a top player and also in a technical staff of a European level club, I know how delicate it is. My teammates and players also knew it. We work together for a long time to get results, I hate leaks!”
This is clearly a big row, and a bad feeling which has been simmering for some time. Maybe just before the World Cup isn’t the right time for it to blow up, unless Wilmots is utterly convinced in his words and is worried it may happen again.