Home SPORTSFIFA World Cup 2022 Team Analysis: BELGIUM squad for FIFA World Cup 2022

Team Analysis: BELGIUM squad for FIFA World Cup 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022 BELGIUM Squad

by Kolkata Today

This World Cup will be the Red Devils golden generation’s last opportunity to win a title. Roberto Martinez is facing a few issues, as Lukaku is not happy at Chelsea and Hazard is suffering from injuries. Meanwhile, players such as Dries Mertens, Axel Witsel and Toby Alderweireld are no longer at the level they used to be. However, there are reasons to be optimistic, as they probably have the world’s finest goalkeeper in Courtois and the 2021/22 Premier League MVP in De Bruyne.

Kevin de Bruyne and his international cohorts shouldered high expectations as young stars, leading Belgium into a new age of international play. They achieved a quarterfinal result in the 2014 World Cup, falling to Argentina 1-0, and finished third at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the nation’s best-ever finish at a World Cup by far.

Now ranked second in the world, Belgium are still often undervalued amongst many of the 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 squeeze the most out of his players by putting them in the best position to succeed.

Final 26-man Belgium World Cup roster

Most players who will play for Belgium at the World Cup were already assured of their place in the squad, barring only an injury before the tournament begins.

There were a few choices for Roberto Martinez to make between young up-and-coming players, but for the most part his group is set with top talent from across the Big 5 European leagues.

There were a few injuries to track. Most notably, star striker Romelu Lukaku, who only just worked his way back to full fitness with Inter Milan, recently again fell victim to a muscle injury, but he’s made the cut.

Additionally, wing-back Thomas Meunier suffered a broken cheekbone on October 16 on club duty but is also heading to Qatar.

The likes of Divock OrigiJason Denayer and Dedryck Boyata were among the most notable absentees from the final squad.

Here’s a look at the final 26 Martinez has selected.

Position No.1 Player Club Age Caps
GK 1 Thibaut Courtois Real Madrid (SPA) 30 96
GK 12 Simon Mignolet Club Brugge (BEL) 34 35
GK 13 Koen Casteels Wolfsburg (GER) 30 4
DEF 2 Toby Alderweireld Royal Antwerp (BEL) 33 123
DEF 3 Arthur Theate Stade Rennes (FRA) 22 3
DEF 4 Wout Faes Leicester City (ENG) 24 1
DEF 5 Jan Vertonghen Anderlecht (BEL) 35 141
DEF 26 Zeno Debast Anderlecht (BEL) 18 2
DEF 19 Leander Dendoncker Aston Villa (ENG) 27 29
MID 21 Timothy Castagne Leicester City (ENG) 26 25
MID 15 Thomas Meunier Borussia Dortmund (GER) 31 58
MID 7 Kevin De Bruyne Man City (ENG) 31 93
MID 20 Hans Vanaken Club Brugge (BEL) 30 22
MID 8 Youri Tielemans Leicester City (ENG) 54 5
MID 18 Amadou Onana Everton (ENG) 21 2
MID 6 Axel Witsel Atletico Madrid (SPA) 33 126
MID 16 Thorgan Hazard Borussia Dortmund (GER) 29 45
FWD 9 Romelu Lukaku Inter Milan (ITA) 29 102
FWD 23 Michy Batshuayi Fenerbahce (TUR) 29 47
FWD 14 Dries Mertens Galatasaray (TUR) 35 106
FWD 22 Charles de Ketelaere AC Milan (ITA) 21 10
FWD 11 Yannick Carrasco Atletico Madrid (SPA) 29 59
FWD 10 Eden Hazard Real Madrid (SPA) 31 122
FWD 17 Leandro Trossard Brighton (ENG) 27 21
FWD 24 Lois Openda Lens (FRA) 22 4
FWD 25 Jeremy Doku Stade Rennes (FRA) 20 10


Belgium national team stars, strengths & weaknesses

Hoping to follow up on their third-place finish four years ago and defend their No. 2 FIFA world ranking, Belgium has a number of star players and attacking talent to lean on.

Still, there are many holes in this player pool, and Martinez will need to work hard to find the right mix, especially at the back.


The unquestioned superstar of the Belgium national team is Kevin De Bruyne, who is considered one of the best players in the world. His creativity is world class, with every pass imaginable at his disposal. He can score goals too, and will be looking to lead a powerful strike force.

Alongside de Bruyne is Romelu Lukaku, who enjoyed a return to form at Inter before injuries ground the start of his club season to a halt. Still, Martinez knows how to get the best of the dangerous forward who has been streaky throughout his career.

Other star names in the Belgium squad include Eden Hazard, who has fallen into obscurity at Real Madrid, and Thibaut Courtois, who 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 first season at AC Milan.

Not many teams have star names amongst the coaching staff, but Belgium boasts former France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry as one of its assistant managers on staff behind Martinez.


This team has an outrageous 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, goalkeeping is a position of strength for Belgium. Courtois is by all accounts the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment, while backup Simon Mignolet is also in good form with Club Brugge in Champions League play.


Age at the back is a major problem for this Belgium side. Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are as experienced and solid as they come, but they’re 33 and 35 years old respectively, and have both gone back to Belgium to finish their club careers.

There is very little young talent coming through to replace them, meaning the two veterans will likely start for Belgium at the back when healthy.

Belgium World Cup group

The Red Devils have been drawn into Group F. Only the top two teams in each group will advance.

Belgium are the highest-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.

With a knockout place possibly already in hand, the final game against Croatia could be a solid litmus test of how ready Belgium is for their chase of World Cup glory.

World Cup Group F fixtures and match schedule

Date Match Time (ET) Stadium
Wed, Nov. 23 Morocco vs. Croatia 5 a.m. Al Bayt
Wed, Nov. 23 Belgium vs. Canada 2 p.m. Ahmad Bin Ali
Sun, Nov. 27 Belgium vs. Morocco 8 a.m. Al Thumama
Sun, Nov. 27 Croatia vs. Canada 11 a.m. Khalifa Int’l
Thurs, Dec. 1 Croatia vs. Belgium 10 a.m. Ahmad Bin Ali
Thurs, Dec. 1 Canada vs. Morocco 10 a.m. Al Thumama


Belgium World Cup squad, lineup

Finding the third member to play alongside Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will be the biggest challenge for manager Martinez at the 2022 World Cup. Zeno Debast could make a case.

Additionally, the midfield combination will be key. Premier League duo Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker look the most likely to start, but veteran Axel Witsel could still push for significant time, and Amadou Onana is also an option.



Romelu Lukaku is the starter up the middle when healthy, but he has also been used out wide by Martinez in past international tournaments, and could be deployed on the wing with Michy Batshuayi leading the way centrally. Finally, using Kevin De Bruyne correctly is a big key for Martinez, likely deployed as part of the front line, asking for him to cut in centrally while the wing-back overlaps.

Belgium projected starting XI vs Canada (3-4-3): 

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




The Spanish coach led Belgium to a third-place finish in the previous World Cup in Russia, but his team didn’t manage to make it through the 2020 European Championship quarter-finals.



He has become Belgium’s leader follow-ing Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard’s drop in form at Chelsea and Real Madrid, respectively. Standing out with his shooting ability and creativity.

 LINE-UP (1-3-4-2-1)


They are known for their attacking mentality, playing attractive football with many players pushing forwards.


Thibaut Courtois is solid in goal, but the level of their defenders is low compared to that of the Belgian na-tional team’s forwards.

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