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Courtois blasts FIFA and UEFA: "They only care about their pockets"

The Real Madrid goalkeeper criticised FIFA and UEFA for the fixture schedule: "We are not robots, we are going to get injured."

Soccer Football - Nations League - Third-Place Playoff - Italy v Belgium - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - October 10, 2021 Belgium's Thibaut Courtois applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Thibaut Courtois spoke after Belgium lost the Nations League third-place play-off to Italy on Sunday. The Real Madrid goalkeeper blasted both UEFA and FIFA for prioritising financial gain over player welfare.

"This match for third and fourth place is just a match for money and we have to be honest about it. We just play it because for UEFA it's extra money," Courtois said.

"We only play it because it means extra money for UEFA. Look how much the line-ups of both teams have changed. If both teams had been in the final, other players would have played in the final. It just shows that we play too many games," he said, in quotes picked up by Sky Sports.

Courtois against FIFA World Cup plan

Courtois also criticised proposals by FIFA to stage the World Cup finals every two years.

FIFA's head of global development Arsene Wenger aims to have a major tournament every summer and fewer qualifying games during the year.

"They [UEFA] made an extra trophy [UEFA Conference League]… it is always the same," Courtois said.

"They can be angry about other teams wanting a Super League but they don't care about the players, they just care about their pockets.

"It's a bad thing that players are not spoken about. And now you hear about a European Championship and a World Cup every year, when will we get a rest? Never."

"We are not robots"

The 29-year-old shot-stopper said injuries would only become more prevalent among players if the match schedule continued to grow.

"So in the end top players will get injured and injured and injured. It's something that should be much better and much more taken care of. We are not robots! It's just more and more games and less rest for us and nobody cares about us.

"Next year we have a World Cup in November, we have to play until the latter stages of June again. We will get injured! Nobody cares about the players anymore.

"Three weeks of holiday is not enough for players to be able to continue for 12 months at the highest level. If we never say anything it [will be] always the same."