Photo of the week: Better together


The Red Devils gathered this week at the national football complex in Tubize to start training in preparation for World Cup

Jostling for a spot

Belgian football pros Christian Kabasele (Watford) and Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund) are back in Belgium as training commences for World Cup. The Red Devils are headed to Russia next month for the kick-off of the four-yearly event on 14 June.

Early this week, coach Roberto Martinez announced the 28 players included in the pre-selection to represent the national side at World Cup. These will be whittled down to 23 on 4 June.

Not part of the pre-selection was Radja Nainggolan, which disappointed fans of the belligerent Roma midfielder. Nainggolan, who hails from Antwerp, has become a popular player in Belgium in response, in fact, to being ignored by the coach in qualifiers. Affectionately referred to as “Ninja”, his underdog status and hot-headed outbursts have become a source of pride for local supporters.

Players sure to make the cut for World Cup glory are Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku – who Martinez calls one of the best strikers in the world – Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens and team captain Eden Hazard.

Photo: Bruno Fahy/BELGA