Belgium World Cup squad 2022: All projected 26 players on Belgian national football team roster for Qatar

Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ looks set to get their last chance to put on a World Cup show as Roberto Martinez leads the Red Devils into Qatar 2022.

Raising high expectations as young stars, Kevin de Bruyne and his international peers led Belgium into a new era of international play. They achieved a quarter-final result at the 2014 World Cup, lost 1-0 to Argentina and finished third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, easily the nation’s best result at a World Cup.

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

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

MORE: A closer look at Belgium’s group opponents at the FIFA World Cup

Expected Belgium World Cup squad 2022

Martinez has until Friday 21 October to provide FIFA with an official provisional list of 35-55 players from which he will select his final 26-man roster for Qatar by Monday 14 November.

Based on last year’s World Cup qualifying squads and friend lists, these are the names most likely to make Martinez’s tentative list.

position player association Age caps
GC Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid (Spain) 30 96
GC Simon Mignolet Club Brugge (BEL) 34 35
GC Koen Castles Wolfsburg (GER) 30 4
GC Matz Sels Strasbourg (FRA) 30 2
DEF Toby Alderweireld Royal Antwerp (BEL) 33 123
DEF Jan Vertonghen Anderlecht (BEL) 35 141
DEF Thomas Meier Borussia Dortmund (DE) 31 58
DEF Timothy Castagne Leicester City (GER) 26 25
DEF Dedryck Boyata Club Brugge (BEL) 31 31
DEF Jason Denayer Al Ahli (UAE) 27 35
DEF Zeno Debast Anderlecht (BEL) 18 2
DEF Arthur Theater Rennes Stadium (FRA) 22 3
DEF Brandon Mechele Club Brugge (BEL) 29 3
DEF Wout Faes Leicester City (GER) 24 1
MEDIUM Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City (GER) 31 93
MEDIUM Youri Tielemans Leicester City (GER) 54 5
MEDIUM Leander Dendoncker Aston Villa (GER) 27 29
MEDIUM Amadou Onana Everton (ENG) 21 2
MEDIUM Yannick Carrasco Atlético Madrid (SPA) 29 59
MEDIUM Axel Witzel Atlético Madrid (SPA) 33 126
MEDIUM Charles de Ketelaere AC Milan (ITA) 21 10
MEDIUM Dennis Praet Leicester City (GER) 28 fifteen
MEDIUM Adnan Januzaj Seville (Spain) 27 fifteen
MEDIUM Albert Lokonga Arsenal (ENG) 22 1
MEDIUM Leandro Trossard Brighton 27 21
MEDIUM Hans Vanaken Club Brugge (BEL) 30 22
MEDIUM Thorgan Hazard Borussia Dortmund (DE) 29 45
FWD Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan (ITA) 29 102
FWD Michy Batshuayi Fenerbahce (TUR) 29 47
FWD Christian Benteke DC United (USA) 31 45
FWD Dry Mertens Galatasaray (TUR) 35 106
FWD Eden Hazard Real Madrid (Spain) 31 122
FWD Divock Origi AC Milan (ITA) 27 32
FWD Jeremy documentary Rennes Stadium (FRA) 20 10
FWD Yari Schaeren Anderlecht (BEL) 21 7
FWD Lois Openda Lens (FRA) 22 4
FWD Dodi Lukebakio Hertha BSC (DE) 25 5
FWD Dante Vanzeir Union SG (BEL) 24 1
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Final 26-man Belgium World Cup squad

Most of the players who will play for Belgium at the World Cup have already secured their place in the squad unless they injure themselves before the start of the tournament.

Martinez has a few choices to make between young up-and-coming players but for the most part his group is made up of top talent from Europe’s big five leagues.

Here’s a look at a plausible Finale 26 that Martinez could pick, provided all players are fit and ready.

position player association Age caps
GC Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid (Spain) 30 96
GC Simon Mignolet Club Brugge (BEL) 34 35
GC Koen Castles Wolfsburg (GER) 30 4
DEF Toby Alderweireld Royal Antwerp (BEL) 33 123
DEF Jan Vertonghen Anderlecht (BEL) 35 141
DEF Thomas Meier Borussia Dortmund (DE) 31 58
DEF Timothy Castagne Leicester City (GER) 26 25
DEF Dedryck Boyata Club Brugge (BEL) 31 31
DEF Jason Denayer Al Ahli (UAE) 27 35
DEF Zeno Debast Anderlecht (BEL) 18 2
MEDIUM Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City (ENG) 31 93
MEDIUM Hans Vanaken Club Brugge (BEL) 30 22
MEDIUM Youri Tielemans Leicester City (GER) 54 5
MEDIUM Leander Dendoncker Aston Villa (GER) 27 29
MEDIUM Amadou Onana Everton (ENG) 21 2
MEDIUM Yannick Carrasco Atlético Madrid (SPA) 29 59
MEDIUM Axel Witzel Atlético Madrid (SPA) 33 126
MEDIUM Charles de Ketelaere AC Milan (ITA) 21 10
MEDIUM Leandro Trossard Brighton 27 21
MEDIUM Thorgan Hazard Borussia Dortmund (DE) 29 45
FWD Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan (ITA) 29 102
FWD Michy Batshuayi Fenerbahce (TUR) 29 47
FWD Dry Mertens Galatasaray (TUR) 35 106
FWD Eden Hazard Real Madrid (Spain) 31 122
FWD Divock Origi AC Milan (ITA) 27 32
FWD Jeremy documentary Rennes Stadium (FRA) 20 10

Stars, strengths and weaknesses of the Belgium national team

Hoping to follow up on third place four years ago and defend their place at No. 2 in the FIFA World Rankings, Belgium have a number of star players and attacking talent to draw from.

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Still, there are a lot of gaps in that player pool and Martinez will have to work hard to find the right mix, especially at the back.

Stars

The undisputed superstar of the Belgian national team is Kevin De Bruyne, who is considered one of the best players in the world. His creativity is world class, he has every imaginable passport at his disposal. He can also score goals and will try to lead a strong attacking force.

Next to de Bruyne is Romelu Lukaku, who returned to form at Inter before injuries derailed the start of his club season. Still, Martinez knows how to get the best out of the dangerous striker who has been a mixed bag throughout his career.

Other star names in the Belgium squad include, among others Eden Hazardwho has been forgotten at Real Madrid, and Thibaut Courtoiswho was the star of the Champions League final last season and has become one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Charles de Ketelaere is another name to watch, starring in his debut season at AC Milan.

Not many teams have star names on the coaching staff, but Belgium can boast a former French and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry as one of his assistant managers on the staff behind Martinez.

Strengthen

This team has an incredible amount of creative talent. The presence of De Bruyne alone is a nightmare for teams but throw in Hazard, Lukaku and De Ketelaere and Youri Tielemans and this team will produce goals.

Also, the goalkeeper is a position of strength for Belgium. Courtois is currently the best goalkeeper in the world while backup Simon Mignolet is also in fine form with Club Brugge in the Champions League.

weaknesses

Age in defense is a big problem for this Belgian team. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are as experienced and solid as they come, but they’re aged 33 and 35 respectively and have both returned to Belgium to finish their club careers.

There are very few young talents who could replace them, meaning the two veterans are likely to start in defense for Belgium if they are healthy.

Belgium World Cup group

The Red Devils were drawn in Group F. Only the The top two teams in each group advance.

Belgium are the top-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.

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With a knockout spot already in the cards, the final game against Croatia could be a solid litmus test of how ready Belgium are for the World Cup chase.

Match schedules and match schedule of the World Cup Group F

date Fit time (ET) Stadion
Wed, Nov 23 Morocco vs. Croatia 5 am Al Bayt
Wed, Nov 23 Belgium against Canada 14 o’clock Ahmad bin Ali
Sun, Nov 27 Belgium against Morocco 8 o’clock Al Thumama
Sun, Nov 27 Croatia vs Canada 11 clock Khalifa Int’l
Thu, Dec 1 Croatia vs. Belgium 10 am Ahmad bin Ali
Thu, Dec 1 Canada vs Morocco 10 am Al Thumama

Belgium World Cup squad, line-up

Find the third member playing alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will be the biggest challenge for manager Martinez at the 2022 World Cup. Jason Denayer looks like the top candidate though Dedryck Boyata or Zeno Debast could make a case.

In addition, the midfield combination will be crucial. Premier League duo Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker most likely look to start, but veteran Axel Witzel could still be pushing for significant time, and Amadou Onana is also an option.

Romelu Lukaku is the starter in the middle when healthy, but has also been used on the outside by Martinez in previous international tournaments and could be used on the wing Michy Batshuayi show the way centrally. Finally use Kevin De Bruyne right is a big key for Martinez, likely to be deployed as part of the front line, prompting him to cut in centrally while full-back overlaps.

Belgium predicted starting XI against Canada (3-4-3):

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

Can Belgium replace players in World Cup squad?

Once the final 26-man squad is official, teams participating in the World Cup can only make changes prior to the first game of the tournament and only in exceptional circumstances.

According to the Official Tournament Rules, “A player listed on the final list may only be replaced in the event of a serious injury or illness up to 24 hours before the start of his team’s first game.”

The team in question would have to submit a medical report to FIFA and if the world governing body determines that “the injury or illness is so serious that the player is unable to play at the FIFA World Cup”, the replacement will be allowed.

The substitute player must be from the provisional list of players submitted to FIFA in October.



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