Belgium Coach Roberto Martinez has finally released his 28-man provisional squad for the World Cup and has already raised a number of eyebrows.
Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan who has enjoyed a fine season with the Eternal City has been excluded for the squad. Nainggolan has been one of Belgium’s best players and has been important in what is described as Belgium ‘golden generation’.
However, under Roberto Martinez, Nainggolan has struggled getting into the Belgium setup. Martinez has defended his decision, saying it was a tactical decision rather than Nainggolan’s bad boy image. Christian Benteke and Nacer Chadli are included despite having poor seasons as well as Michy Batshuayi who suffered a season-ending injury in April. Belgium’s World Cup starts on June 18th in a Group G game against World Cup debutants Panama at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi.
Belgium Squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Matz Sels (Newcastle)
Defenders: Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Christian Kabasele (Watford), Jordan Lukaku (Lazio), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles FC)
Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Moussa Dembele (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht)
Forwards: Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Thorgan Hazard (Monchengladbach), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad)