Real Madrid say that gastroenteritis – not an anxiety attack – led to Thibaut Courtois’ half-time substitution on Tuesday in the Champions League. The Belgian goalkeeper was replaced by Alphonse Areola at the break with his side trailing 2-0 to Club Bruges at the Bernabeu – a game which ended 2-2. Reports in the Spanish media claimed Courtois, 27, had an anxiety attack at half-time.
In a statement released on Friday, Real said these claims are ‘false’. The goalkeeper has instead been treated for acute gastroenteritis and is responding well to treatment, according to the Spanish club. Former Chelsea keeper Courtois has come under criticism since replacing the departed Keylor Navas as Real’s first-choice.
He has let in five of the nine shots he has faced in the Champions League this season and has just two clean sheets from six league games. But in an interview with Marca published on Friday, the Belgian said: “If you want to be a Real Madrid goalkeeper, you have to accept this pressure.”