Belgium has named a strong squad for the upcoming 2018 World Cup in Russia as Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke has been dropped from Belgium’s 23-man squad released on Monday ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The final squad was confirmed on earlier today, and the team is made up of stars like Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens, tipped to succeed on the international scene.
Manchester City Captain Vincent Kompany has been included but his participation in the tournament is still in doubt, with Martinez confirming he will wait until the last possible moment before deciding whether or not to replace the 32-year-old with Laurent Ciman, who is on standby. Martinez told a news conference;
“The situation is very clear: we’re going to try to use the rules,”
“We need to make the final squad 24 hours before Panama [on June 18] so, until then, we’re going to try to give the maximum time to see what the reaction is with Vinny.
“We’ve spoken very closely with Manchester City and the experience over the last few years is that Vinny’s reaction to certain soft-tissue injuries cannot be described by a scan. You need to wait seven, eight days.
“The approach is very easy. He’s a leader, he’s been working extremely hard in camp, he performed in a fantastic manner while on the pitch against Portugal. It’s essential for us to give him every opportunity. It’s a World Cup, it’s not just any competition.”
Belgium is in a relatively straightforward group, featuring Panama, Tunisia and England.
Benteke’s omission was reportedly due to injury. Romelu Lukaku’s younger brother Jordan was also excluded, along with Watford’s Christian Kabasele.
However, Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany was included in the squad despite going off with a suspected injury in Belgium’s friendly against Portugal a few days back.
Former Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj, who missed out on a place at Euro 2016 after a difficult season, is back in the squad and will play in his second World Cup.
Meanwhile, notable names like Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, Thomas Vermaelen, Jan Vertonghen, Dries Merten, Moussa Dembele and Maroune Fellaini made the final squad.
Belgium are in Group G at this summer’s World Cup and will face England, Tunisia and debutant Panama.
Belgium’s final 23-man squad
Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Meunier (Paris St-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian).
Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).