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Belgium call up Leandro Trossard, Eden Hazard and Lois Openda for World Cup

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has released his final 26-man squad list for the 2022 World Cup.

The second-ranked side in the world will look to end their trophy drought in Qatar, and they have been drawn in Group F, which contains Canada, Croatia and Morocco.

Thibaut Courtois – who won the 2022 Yashin Trophy – will be the first-choice goalkeeper, with Simon Mignolet as his deputy.

Mignolet has been in terrific form for Club Brugge this season, helping the Belgian outfit reach the Champions League knockout stage for the first time in history.

Veteran duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen will lead the defence, while Leicester City’s summer signing Wout Faes – who made his international debut last month – has earned a spot in the squad.

Kevin De Bruyne will be the key cog in the midfield, while Atletico Madrid’s Axel Witsel and AC Milan’s Charles De Ketelaere have been called up for FIFA’s flagship tournament.

De Ketelaere has been off to a struggling start to life at AC Milan, and the World Cup could be an opportunity for him to change his fortunes.

A big challenge awaits playmaker Eden Hazard as his career has been on a downward spiral in recent years.

Leandro Trossard will look to replicate his outstanding club form at the World Cup, as he has netted seven goals and three assists for Brighton & Hove Albion this season.

Lois Openda is another notable inclusion, and he will compete with Romelu Lukaku for the striker position.

Openda has been one of the breakout stars in Ligue 1 this season, scoring seven goals in 14 games for Lens.

There are doubts over Lukaku’s fitness, with the Inter Milan striker largely sidelined this season due to injuries.

Belgium World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid), Simon Mignolet (Club Brugge), Koen Casteels (VfL Wolfsburg).

Defenders: Jan Vertonghen (Anderlecht), Toby Alderweireld (Royal Antwerp), Wout Faes (Leicester City), Arthur Theate (Rennes), Zeno Debast (Anderlecht), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund), Timothy Castagne (Leicester City).

Midfielders: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Amadou Onana (Everton), Axel Witsel (Atletico Madrid), Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge), Leander Dendoncker (Aston Villa), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund).

Forwards: Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Charles De Ketelaere (AC Milan), Leandro Trossard (Brighton & Hove Albion), Dries Mertens (Galatasaray), Jeremy Doku (Rennes), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan), Michy Batshuayi (Fenerbahce), Lois Openda (Lens).

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