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'Outclassed on all fronts': Courtois lambasts Belgium performance against Italy

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Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

After a trying season at Chelsea, perhaps the first time in his professional career that he's experienced palpable disappointment in terms of results and injuries, Thibaut Courtois wanted nothing more than to have a good Euro 2016, and alongside Eden Hazard, help Belgium to a series of good results befitting the disproportionately great level of talent available to the tiny Benelux nation.  Safe to say that the 2-0 loss to Italy was not how they imagined their tournament would start.

After the match, the Chelsea goalkeeper minced no words about his countrymen's performance.

"We were outclassed on all fronts."

"Tactically, technically and organisationally we came up short. We made the same mistakes as in the friendly games. For the first we did not follow our man."

"This is a big disappointment, because the first match is very important. We could have done a great thing after the draw in the other match. The next two games we should be winning. We have to play better."

-Thibaut Courtois; source: Sportwereld via ESPN

The good news for Belgium is that what is likely to be their toughest game of the group stage is now out of the way, and with the expanded field at this year's tournament, they could probably even get away with dropping a couple more points against either Sweden or Ireland, who drew 1-1 earlier in the day.

Still, Belgium will have to play a fair bit better if they are to live up to expectations.  Or anywhere near expectations for that matter.