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INFOGRAPHIC - Belgium's World Cup hopes rest upon Chelsea players past, present, and future

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Belgium's World Cup hopes rest heavily upon Chelsea players past, present, and future.  To wit, during the ten World Cup qualifying matches, Marc Wilmots allocated a whopping 25% of the available minutes to players who, at the time, were under Chelsea's control.

Thibaut Courtois played every single minute of every single qualifying match (900).  Kevin de Bruyne, who was under Chelsea's control during all ten qualifying matches, but has since been sold to Wolfsburg, played 728 minutes.  Eden Hazard played 607 minutes and Romelu Lukaku chipped in with 211 minutes.  All four players are locks to be on the 23-man squad Wilmots takes to Brazil.

The Belgian squad relies heavily not just on Chelsea, but on the Premier League in general.  Players owned by Premier League clubs were given 65% of the available minutes.  In addition, of the eleven biggest contributors to the club during the qualifying matches, nine were owned by Premier League clubs (Zenit St. Petersburg's Axel Witsel and Atlético Madrid's Toby Alderweireld were the two exceptions).

Conversely, the two players in the Belgian Pro League who saw the pitch played just 183 minutes combined, or less than 2% of the available minutes.

The inspiration for the infographic came from the CIES Football Observatory, and specifically, from their excellent World Cup preview.  We previously highlighted Chelsea's impact on the Brazilian national team (and vice versa) and will likely continue to roll out infographics on various topics as we see fit.  If there's anything in particular you'd like to see (it doesn't have to be related to the World Cup), drop us a line and the comments section and we'll be sure to make a note of any requests.

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