Belgium's New Goalkeeper Koen Casteels Steps Up for Euro 2024

Belgium's new first-choice goalkeeper Koen Casteels aims to shine at this month’s European Championship, stepping out of Thibaut Courtois’ shadow. After being named the top choice by coach Domenico Tedesco, Casteels is set to prove his quality with the full squad's confidence behind him.

Reuters | Brussels | Updated: 07-06-2024 18:10 IST | Created: 07-06-2024 18:10 IST
Belgium's New Goalkeeper Koen Casteels Steps Up for Euro 2024
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Belgium's new first choice goalkeeper Koen Casteels can move out of the shadow of Thibaut Courtois at this month's European Championship and will enjoy the confidence of the rest of the squad, team mate Thomas Meunier said on Friday. The 31-year-old Casteels was earlier on Friday named as first choice for Belgium at Euro 2024 by coach Domenico Tedesco, who had a spat with Real Madrid goalkeeper Courtois last year.

Casteels, who plays for Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg, has played four of Belgium's last 10 internationals in the absence of Courtois, who stormed out of the squad a year ago when he was not named captain before suffering a serious knee injury just over a month later. Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Matz Sels started the other six matches. Courtois returned last month for Real Madrid and made several key stops in last Saturday's Champions League final as they beat Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, but he had already said he would not be fit for Euro 2024.

Asked whether Casteels can ensure Belgium fans do not notice Courtois' absence, Meunier told a press conference on Friday: "He will have to prove that at the tournament. "But there is no doubt about his quality. He has already shown that in the Bundesliga.

"The whole squad has faith in him and I'm sure he'll have a very good tournament," added the fullback. Meunier said there was also considerable faith in 38-year-old coach Tedesco, who is heading to his first major tournament.

"Playing a European Championship means that every match is important and that you do not get any games of less importance," he explained. "Tedesco does have experience with the rapid succession of important matches. In the past he has also had to play Bundesliga, cup games and Champions League in succession. That is a bit the same as a European Championship." (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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