Seven weeks after Michy Batshuayi’s season ended on stretcher and amid fears that he might miss several months including the World Cup, the Chelsea loanee has punched his ticket to Russia as one of only two center forwards taken by Belgium to the summer extravaganza.
The last time I was on a pitch I came out like this and some doctors told me that my World Cup Dreams were over (again) ... today I’m going Russia #GodIsGreat #determination pic.twitter.com/CtCC1q4inz— Michy Batshuayi (@mbatshuayi) June 4, 2018
That’s not to say that Belgium will be lacking firepower. Two Hazards and a De Bruyne is already pretty good, and both Lukaku and Batshuayi know a thing or two about finishing.
The one big surprise is manager Roberto Martinez dropping Christian Benteke while keeping the likes of Nacer Chadli, who could barely crack the squad at West Brom, and Adnan Januzaj, who’s played one half of football for the national team in the last nearly four years.
Regardless, Belgium will be one of the big favorites.to the trophy. Can they live to the hype this time around?
GOALKEEPERS: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).
DEFENDERS: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Meunier (Paris St-Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur).
MIDFIELDERS: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian).
FORWARDS: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United).