• Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Nainggolan left out of Belgium World Cup squad

  • Published at 11:38 am May 21st, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:42 am May 21st, 2018
image-1526902430166.jpg

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez left AS Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan out of his squad for next month's World Cup in Russia, insisting on Monday it was a purely tactical move and not due to past clashes over discipline.

The Spaniard sprung a surprise by not naming his final 23-man squad as expected, instead listing 28 players who will be whittled down on June 4, two days after a friendly against fellow World Cup finalists Portugal in Brussels on June 2.

“We know that Radja has a very important role in his club and we cannot give him that role in our squad,” Martinez told a news conference, acknowledging Nainggolan's key role in Roma's run to the Champions League semi-finals, but saying he could not offer him a similar place in a "more offensive" Belgian side.

Coach and player had an "honest" discussion after Martinez flew to Rome on Sunday to break the news.

There was no doubt about the popularity of the 29-year-old Nainggolan among Belgian fans following his key role at Euro 2016, the manager said, but a coach must be ready to take hard decisions for the good of the team.

"I don't think Radja is a player to be used in a small role," Martinez said when asked about Nainggolan's reported willingness to go with the squad "even as a goalkeeper".

"The reason that Radja's not in the squad is purely a tactical decision," Martinez told reporters, adding that giving himself an extra couple of weeks until FIFA's final squad deadline would give the likes of experienced Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen time to prove his fitness.
<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbelgianfootball%2Fposts%2F2438310969527715&width=500" width="500" height="685" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>
Third in the world rankings and hungry for the success that has eluded them despite boasting some of Europe's most gifted players, England's Group G opponents head to Russia with Premier League stars including Chelsea forward Eden Hazard and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne from champions Manchester City.

Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku also makes the preliminary squad despite recent injury issues, along with 32-year-old Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany in defence.

Among fresher faces given a chance are winger Adnan Januzaj from Real Sociedad and 21-year-old Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans.

The 28-man provisional squad is:
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg), Matz Sels (Newcastle United).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Christian Kabasele (Watford), Jordan Lukaku (Lazio), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)

Midfielders: Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Taida), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Bromwich Albion), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Youri Tielemans (Monaco)

Forwards: Moussa Dembele (Celtic), Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea/Dortmund), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli)


50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail