Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is unhappy they have to face Italy in a battle for third place at the Nations League, describing it as a ‘useless game’.

Roberto Martinez’s side threw away a 2-0 lead against France to crash out of the semi-finals with a 3-2 defeat, meaning the country’s ‘golden generation’ are still to win a trophy.

With defeat, the Belgians have set up a third place play-off against Euro 2020 champions Italy, who were knocked out after a 2-1 defeat to Spain.

As reported by Football Italia, Courtois told Belgian publication Nieuwsblad that they are ‘playing for nothing’.

He added: ‘As always, when you have a 2-0 lead, you can’t throw away the win – but we did.

‘We are playing for nothing. To arrive third or fourth in the Nations League is not interesting for anyone.

‘It’s a useless game. I don’t know why we are playing, it’s like a training match.’

Similar criticisms have been thrown at the World Cup which also has a third place play-off, something Belgium won back in 2018 at Russia with a 2-0 victory against England.

Belgium had looked like they might advance to the final after taking a 2-0 lead against France on Thursday, thanks to first-half goals from Yannick Carrasco and Romelu Lukaku.

France pegged them back in the second-half with goals from Karim Benzema and a Kylian Mbappe penalty.

Lukaku thought he scored a late winner which was ruled out for offside before Theo Hernandez thrashed home a third goal to send the French through to Sunday’s final.

Belgium will play Italy ahead of the final on Sunday afternoon at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.


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