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Belgium captain Romelu Lukaku scores twice in 3-0 win over Estonia

Tuesday internationals


After being held to a surprise 1-1 draw by Austria in Euro 2024 qualifying last week, Belgium got back on track with a straightforward 3-0 win over Estonia yesterday, which included a first-half brace (in just three minutes!) from Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku, who again wore the captain’s armband in Kevin De Bruyne’s absence through injury as in the previous game, has now scored in four straight games for Belgium, ammassing seven (7!) goals in the process. But this game wasn’t without controversy thanks to the sideshow regarding the status and whereabouts of Thibaut Courtois, and whether he wanted to wear the armband instead.

Courtois missed the trip to Estonia, failing to show up to the team hotel for departure, with media reports claiming that he walked out due to Lukaku being preferred as the deputy captain. Belgium head coach Domenico Tedesco subsequently claimed that he had talked through this issue with both players, and that Courtois was set to be the captain against Estonia, but evidently there might have been some miscommunication.

“Thibaut Courtois is very important to us. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate him. On Saturday I had a conversation with Romelu and Thibaut about the captaincy. Against Austria it was Lukaku, against Estonia, Thibaut gets the credit. It is important to us that he feels valued.”

-Domenico Tedesco; source: Mail

Courtois then took to his own website to release a statement not only going against what the head coach said, but criticizing Tedesco directly for airing that bit of semi-dirty laundry.

Courtois also claimed that he is injured, with his girlfriend posting an Instagram story showing his right knee taped up with some kinesiology tape, which is amusingly missing a piece across the patella that would most likely be there if it were done by a professional to provide proper support and pain relief. But hey, I ain’t no professional either.

Tedesco flat out called that a lie, which is even more amusing.

“I wish I could say it’s an injury, but I can’t lie.”

-Domenico Tedesco; source: Mail

Delicious Drama with a capital D!

Anyway, here are some far less dramatic highlights. I’m not sure the first goal happened the way Lukaku meant it, but whatever works!

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Kalidou Koulibaly captained Senegal to a 4-2 friendly win over Brazil but Kai Havertz suffered a 2-0 defeat with Germany against Colombia — ex-Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado set up the first and scored the second.

Also should mention that yesterday (Monday), England trounced North Macedonia, 7-0, with Conor Gallagher featuring for 30 minutes off the bench, but not getting in on the goalscoring action. (Bukayo Saka got three, Harry Kane got two, and Marcus Rashford and Kalvin Phillips got one each.)

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