'We are not a golden generation' – Courtois refutes Belgium tag after dire World Cup campaign

By Sports Desk December 04, 2022 798

Thibaut Courtois says Belgium's current crop of players should not be considered the country's "golden generation" after their dire World Cup campaign in Qatar.

Belgium finished third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and reached the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 despite a series of underwhelming displays, leading to hopes of a renewed World Cup bid this year.

However, the world's number-two ranked side suffered a humiliating group-stage exit after following up a 1-0 win over Canada with a defeat to Morocco and a goalless draw with Croatia. 

The Red Devils' current squad – which includes a series of household names including Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard – has often been described as Belgium's "golden generation", but Courtois says that depiction is inaccurate.

"It's a little shameful they called us the golden generation of Belgium when we didn't win anything," Courtois told ESPN.

"We are not a golden generation; we are a generation that had a lot of talent and great players in several European clubs.

"In Russia, in 2018, we showed that we were a Belgium that played good football. In this World Cup and in the Euro [2020] we were not ourselves."

Courtois, a veteran of three World Cup campaigns, will be 34 when the next edition of the tournament begins, but he has no intention of calling time on his international career before then.

"We'll see what will happen, who will stay, who will end their career. I want to play in this [next] World Cup, yes," Courtois said.

"We still have good players and others will arrive. When they finish their career in the national team, it will be in a good phase, not like this."

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Last modified on Sunday, 04 December 2022 15:15
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