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Belgium World Cup 2022 squad: Roberto Martinez names his final qualification squad

Belgium World Cup 2022 squad
(Image credit: PA)

The Belgium World Cup 2022 squad will be named in around 12 months' time. Today, Roberto Martinez takes a step closer to that final 23, with his last selection for the group stage qualifiers.

Romelu Lukaku has been left out as he continues to recover from an ankle injury he sustained against Malmo last month. Youri Tielemans was initially named among Martinez's travelling party, but he now faces at least a couple of weeks on the sidelines with a calf problem. Michy Batshuayi and Toby Alderweireld are other notable absentees from the squad for November's internationals.

Eden Hazard has been selected despite his continuing struggles to nail down a starting spot at Real Madrid. Fellow national team stalwarts Jan Vertonghen, Kevin De Bruyne and Dries Mertens have also been called up.

Reims defender Wout Faes and Saint-Gilloise forward Dante Vanzeir are the two uncapped members of the squad. Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga has been rewarded for his good form at club level with a second call-up.

Belgium World Cup 2022 squad: The final qualifying squad

  • GK: Koen Casteels, Wolfsburg
  • GK: Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid
  • GK: Simon Mignolet, Club Brugge
  • GK: Matz Sels, Racing Strasbourg
  • DF: Dedryck Boyata, Hertha Berlin
  • DF: Timothy Castagne, Leicester
  • DF: Jason Denayer, Lyon
  • DF: Wout Faes, Stade Reims
  • DF: Thomas Meunier, Borussia Dortmund
  • DF: Arthur Theate, Atalanta
  • DF: Jan Vertonghen, Benfica
  • MF: Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City
  • MF: Charles De Ketelaere, Club Brugge
  • MF: Albert Sambi Lokoga, Arsenal
  • MF: Leander Dendocker, Wolves
  • MF: Eden Hazard, Real Madrid
  • MF: Thorgan Hazard, Borussia Dortmund
  • MF: Dennis Praet, Torino
  • MF: Alexis Saelemaekers, AC Milan
  • MF: Hans Vanaken, Club Brugge
  • MF: Axel Witsel, Borussia Dortmund
  • FW: Dries Mertens, Napoli
  • FW: Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace
  • FW: Yannick Carrasco, Atletico Madrid
  • FW: Divock Origi, Liverpool
  • FW: Leandro Trossard, Brighton
  • FW: Dante Vanzeir, Union Saint-Gilloise

Belgium World Cup 2022 squad: How many players are Belgium allowed to take to the 2022 World Cup?

Roberto Martinez was permitted 26 players for Euro 2020, due to the potential of COVID-19 outbreaks during the tournament. For the 2022 World Cup in Qatar - unless otherwise stated - it is expected that the squad number will be reduced back down to the usual 23.

This could well be adjusted, however, in the coming months. Substitute numbers were raised during the pandemic too, allowing five changes to be made a game instead of the regular three. This has remained this season in international competition: it is possible that the squad number will increase to 26 once more - especially with the World Cup taking place midseason.

When will the final Belgium 2022 World Cup squad be announced?

The 2022 World Cup takes place in November of next year. It is expected that the preparations for the tournament will begin as soon as next summer. 

While the next World Cup's staging is a break from the traditional football calendar, World Cup squads are usually announced around six weeks prior to the tournament beginning. 

This may change with club football being played closer to the start date of the tournament. 

Who will make the final Belgium 2022 World Cup squad?

Barring injuries or bans, there are a few players that we expect to be dead certs for Roberto Martinez's final Belgium 2022 World Cup squad.

The country's golden generation is running out of time to get its hands on a trophy. Some of them will no doubt feature at Euro 2024, but Qatar 2022 will almost certainly be the last tournament which features Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Jan Vertonghen, Dries Mertens, Axel Witsel and Toby Alderweireld in the same squad.

Beyond those names, Yannick Carrasco, Thomas Meunier and Youri Tielemans have been regulars throughout the Martinez era and will expect to have seats reserved on the plane to Doha.

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