Eden Hazard has cheekily poked fun at Belgium teammate Thibaut Courtois after the goalkeeper gifted a goal to Russia in the side’s opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday night.
The Red Devils went ahead on the night through Youri Tielemans but the scores were levelled a couple of minutes later when Courtois dallied on the ball and kicked it straight to Denis Cheryshev, who passed into an empty net.
But fortunately for Courtois, former Chelsea teammate Hazard was on hand to spare his blushes, scoring from the penalty spot in the 45th minute and killing the game late on with a second strike late on to make it 3-1.
Afterwards, Hazard could not resist teasing Courtois over his mistake, suggesting the giant shot-stopper had been watching too many clips of him. ‘I think he’s looking at too many videos of me, he’s trying to dribble like me!’ Hazard quipped to RTBF after the game.
‘But it’s not the same thing as he’s a bit taller, it’s a little more complicated.
It will spend a little time on the internet and make a buzz!’ Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen was a little more sympathetic, telling Sky Sports: ‘I think Thibaut waited a bit too long and this happens in football. We all saw what happened.’
The mistake compounds a miserable season for Courtois, who has made a number of errors for Real Madrid this season.
His place in the starting XI is now under increasing threat following Zinedine Zidane’s arrival, with the Frenchman immediately restoring Keylor Navas as his No.1, and his mistake against Russia will have done little to improve his case for selection.