Thibaut Courtois has taken a swipe at Anthony Martial by questioning whether the Manchester United forward is a ‘star player’.
Participating in Pickx Sports’ 7 Second Challenge, Courtois was asked by Belgium teammate Jan Vertonghen to name world-class players who missed out on Euro 2020, but he could only think of Sergio Ramos.
After the seven seconds had elapsed, Vertonghen then reeled off a list of names including Jan Oblak, Martial, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Virgil van Dijk and Erling Haaland, before Courtois interrupted and poked fun at Vertonghen for including the 25-year-old in the ‘star player’ bracket.
Martial has struggled for consistency at United following his £36m move from Monaco in 2016, scoring only seven goals across all competitions in the season just gone.
He has also been hampered by injuries, and suffered his latest blow in March when a ruptured knee ligament brought an end to his campaign.
The injury meant he wouldn’t be available for selection in France’s Euros squad but there were doubts as to whether he would have been selected anyway, given his form for United in the first half of the season.
Ultimately, neither France nor Belgium’s campaign amounted to much, with Les Bleus exiting in the round of 16 and the Red Devils only going one step further.
Belgium would fall victim to the Italy juggernaut, losing 2-1 in what was seen as the final chance for the so-called ‘Golden Generation’ to win some silverware.
Italy were too strong for them, and after edging past Spain in the semi-finals, are now preparing for their showdown with England.
“It is the youngsters versus the veterans,” Leonardo Bonucci said at a press conference from Italy’s training base in Coverciano, Florence on Friday.
“The English forwards are very strong and are great players, so the whole team must be very cautious in our defence.
“We know how they can bring difficulties for us, so we will need to pay a lot of attention to the pace and quickness of their forwards like Harry Kane and the others.
“On Sunday we will have great players in the one-on-ones, but I am very confident because all of our players will give 100 per cent to bring something historic home.”