Originally featured on the TalkingTikiTaka – WC2014 Blog
Following a lengthy period whereby Adnan Januzaj could have featured for several international sides, his decision to opt for Belgium was met with great approval by Belgium coach Marc Wilmots who has rewarded the youngster with a provisional inclusion in the Belgian world cup squad following an impressive debut season for Manchester United. The youngster who has been recently linked to Paris Saint Germain is preferred to Radja Nainggolan whilst fellow 19 year old Divock Origi is also a surprise inclusion after scoring 5 goals for Lille in Ligue 1 in the 13/14 season. And when you look at the wealth of talent and the strength in depth that Belgium have, you can understand why many are predicting big things not only in this summer’s competition but also in the near future.
With the likes of Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku featuring alongside a number of other young starlets in the Belgian national team, the future certainly does look bright for Belgium, even if they fail to to be successful at their first time of asking in this summer’s world cup. Kevin Mirallas and Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany are just two of many Belgians based in the Premier League that feature in the 30 man provisional squad, however there is still some uncertainty as to whether the likes of Nacer Chadli and Marouane Fellaini will make the final 23 after inconsistent performances for both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United respective in the 13/14 season. Before their opening group game to Algeria, Belgium face Luxembourg, Sweden and Tunisia in a trio of friendlies which are sure to tell us a lot about their chances of reaching the later stages of the 2014 Brazil World Cup.
The Belgium 30 man provisional squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid, on loan from Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool), Koen Casteels (Hoffenheim), Silvio Proto (Anderlecht)
Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Atletico Madrid), Laurent Ciman (Standard Liege), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St Petersburg), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern Munich), Anthony Vanden Borre (Anderlecht), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
Midfielders: Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele (both Tottenham), Steven Defour (Porto), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg), Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj (both Manchester United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Kevin Mirallas (Everton), Divock Origi (Lille), Axel Witsel (Zenit St Petersburg)
Forwards: Romelu Lukaku (Everton, on loan from Chelsea), Dries Mertens (Napoli)
Standby: Sebastien Pocognoli (Hannover), Radia Nainggolan (Roma), Thorgan Hazard (Zulte Waregem, on loan from Chelsea), Guillaume Gillet (Anderlecht), Michy Batshuayi, Jelle Van Damme (both Standard Liege).