Real Madrid have denied reports suggesting their first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is suffering from anxiety, saying that he was withdrawn at half-time in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Club Brugge due to abdominal problems. The Spanish giants in an official statement on Friday said the Belgian shot-stopper had to be replaced by Alphonse Areola as he was unable to continue due to "acute gastroenteritis, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance."
"Our player has never been diagnosed with symptoms of anxiety and, therefore, the information is absolutely false," the statement published in the club's website read. It also claimed that Courtois is responding well to the treatment.
13-time champions Real Madrid were 2-0 down at half-time against Club Brugge, for whom Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis scored a first-half brace. But Zinedine Zidane's team came storming back as Sergio Ramos headed in before Casemiro claimed a dramatic equaliser in the 85th minute, seconds after Ruud Vormer had been sent off for the visitors. Courtois was criticised for both the goals though Croatian playmaker Luka Modric was also at fault for Dennis breaching the Madrid defence the second time.
According to the Spanish press, Courtois had to be driven home from the Santiago Bernabeu by his father as he was too unwell to drive himself.
The Belgium international missed training on Thursday and Friday and is likely to sit out Saturday's La Liga fixture against Granada.
Courtois, who was declared the best goalkeeper of the Russian World Cup, was never at his best after arriving at Santiago Bernabeu this summer from Chelsea.