Belgium World Cup squad 2022: All 26 man final squad for Belgian national football team roster in Qatar

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Belgium's players celebrate after midfielder Thorgan Hazard scores a goal.PHOTO: AFP

The “golden generation” of Belgium gets what appears to be its last chance to put on a World Cup show as Roberto Martinez leads the Red Devils into the 2022 tournament in Qatar.

Kevin de Bruyne and his international cohorts lived up to high expectations as young stars and led Belgium into a new age of the international game. They reached the quarter-finals at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, losing 1–0 to Argentina, and finished third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, by far the nation’s best World Cup finish.

Now ranked second in the world, Belgium are still often underrated among many other established World Cup powers such as Brazil, France, Spain and Germany.

This team is deep and dangerous on offense, but has a number of weaknesses that teams could exploit. Still, Martinez is a top-notch coach who knows how to get the most out of his players by putting them in the best position to succeed.

Final 26-man Belgium World Cup roster

Most players who will play for Belgium at the World Cup were already assured of their place in the squad, barring only an injury before the tournament begins.

There were a few choices for Martinez to make between young up-and-coming players, but for the most part his group is set with top talent from across the Big 5 European leagues.

There were a few injuries to track. Most notably, star striker Romelu Lukaku, who only just worked his way back to full fitness with Inter Milan, recently again fell victim to a muscle injury, but he’s made the cut.

Additionally, full-back Thomas Meunier suffered a broken cheekbone on October 16 on club duty but is also heading to Qatar.

Here’s a look at the final 26 Martinez has selected.

Position Player Club Age Caps
GK Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid (SPA) 30 96
GK Simon Mignolet Club Brugge (BEL) 34 35
GK Koen Casteels Wolfsburg (GER) 30 4
DEF Toby Alderweireld Royal Antwerp (BEL) 33 123
DEF Arthur Theate Stade Rennes (FRA) 22 3
DEF Wout Faes Leicester City (ENG) 24 1
DEF Jan Vertonghen Anderlecht (BEL) 35 141
DEF Thomas Meunier Borussia Dortmund (GER) 31 58
DEF Timothy Castagne Leicester City (ENG) 26 25
DEF Zeno Debast Anderlecht (BEL) 18 2
MID Kevin de Bruyne Man City (ENG) 31 93
MID Hans Vanaken Club Brugge (BEL) 30 22
MID Youri Tielemans Leicester City (ENG) 54 5
MID Leander Dendoncker Aston Villa (ENG) 27 29
MID Amadou Onana Everton (ENG) 21 2
MID Yannick Carrasco Atletico Madrid (SPA) 29 59
MID Axel Witsel Atletico Madrid (SPA) 33 126
MID Charles de Ketelaere AC Milan (ITA) 21 10
MID Leandro Trossard Brighton (ENG) 27 21
MID Thorgan Hazard Borussia Dortmund (GER) 29 45
FWD Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan (ITA) 29 102
FWD Michy Batshuayi Fenerbahce (TUR) 29 47
FWD Dries Mertens Galatasaray (TUR) 35 106
FWD Eden Hazard Real Madrid (SPA) 31 122
FWD Lois Openda Lens (FRA) 22 4
FWD Jeremy Doku Stade Rennes (FRA) 20 10

The likes of Divock OrigiJason Denayer and Dedryck Boyata were among the most notable absentees from the final squad.

Belgium World Cup group

The Red Devils have been drawn into Group F. Only the top two teams in each group will advance.

Belgium are the highest-ranked team in Group F and will open the tournament against John Herdman and Canada, before taking on African powers Morocco and 2018 finalists Croatia.

With a knockout place possibly already in hand, the final game against Croatia could be a solid litmus test of how ready Belgium is for their chase of World Cup glory.

World Cup Group F fixtures and match schedule

Date Match Time (ET) Stadium
Wed, Nov. 23 Morocco vs. Croatia 5 a.m. Al Bayt
Wed, Nov. 23 Belgium vs. Canada 2 p.m. Ahmad Bin Ali
Sun, Nov. 27 Belgium vs. Morocco 8 a.m. Al Thumama
Sun, Nov. 27 Croatia vs. Canada 11 a.m. Khalifa Int’l
Thurs, Dec. 1 Croatia vs. Belgium 10 a.m. Ahmad Bin Ali
Thurs, Dec. 1 Canada vs. Morocco 10 a.m. Al Thumama

Belgium World Cup squad, lineup

Finding the third member to play alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will be the biggest challenge for manager Martinez at the 2022 World Cup. Zeno Debast could make a case.

Additionally, the midfield combination will be key. Premier League duo Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker look the most likely to start, but veteran Axel Witsel could still push for significant time, and Amadou Onana is also an option.

Romelu Lukaku is the starter up the middle when healthy, but he has also been used out wide by Martinez in past international tournaments, and could be deployed on the wing with Michy Batshuayi leading the way centrally. Finally, using Kevin de Bruyne correctly is a big key for Martinez, likely deployed as part of the front line, asking for him to cut in centrally while the wing-back overlaps.

Belgium projected starting XI vs Canada (3-4-3):

Courtois (GK) — Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Debast— Castagne, Tielemans, Dendoncker, Meunier — Hazard, Lukaku, De Bruyne.

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