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Real Madrid deny Courtois suffering from anxiety as they clarify Club Brugge half-time substitution

12:00 BST 04/10/2019
Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid 2019
Los Blancos have moved to explain the reason why the former Chelsea goalkeeper was replaced at the break in Tuesday's Champions League clash

Real Madrid have moved to quash reports that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been diagnosed with an anxiety-related condition.

The Belgium international goalkeeper has taken his share of criticism in the early weeks of the 2019-20 season, with his form questioned on a regular basis as Zinedine Zidane’s side have made their way to the top of the Liga table in a stop-start manner.

In the Champions League, meanwhile, Madrid have not been at their best and the 27-year-old was again under the spotlight on Tuesday as he conceded twice in the opening half as Los Blancos found themselves 2-0 down at home to Group A outsiders Club Brugge.

The situation was salvaged to an extent in the second half, with Casemiro grabbing a late equaliser, but it did not stop a fresh wave of criticism coming the way of the Belgian, who was withdrawn at half-time.

Although the player himself as said that he is prepared to embrace the pressure of playing for a superpower like Madrid , reports in the Spanish media suggested he was struggling with the mental strain.

Real have, however, been quick to react to deny those rumours, posting a statement on their club website which reads: "In relation to certain information about our player Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid want to state the following:
 
"1. That our player has never been diagnosed with an alleged anxiety problem and, therefore, that information is absolutely false.
 
"2. That Thibaut Courtois has been diagnosed and treated for acute gastroenteritis with dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, which made it impossible to end last Tuesday's game against Bruges.
 
"3. The player currently responds favourably to the treatment."

Alphonse Areola is expected to keep goal for Zidane’s men at the weekend, when they play host to Granada in a Liga fixture that pits the current top two sides in the Spanish league against each other.

It will be the Frenchman’s second start for Madrid since moving to the club on loan during the summer in a move that effectively saw fan-favourite Keylor Navas switch to Parc des Princes.

If the France international performs well, it promises to reignite the debate over Courtois’ role at the Bernabeu.