Brussels (AFP) – Belgium coach Marc Wilmots confirmed his 23-man squad for Euro 2016 on Tuesday, albeit a list depleted by defensive injuries.
The 47-year-old had already seen captain Vincent Kompany and Bjorn Engels ruled out of the tournament in France, with fellow defenders Nicolas Lombaerts and Dedryck Boyata were forced to pull out on Monday.
Wilmots tried to laugh off the problems with some black humour, saying: “I thought about killing myself yesterday,” before clarifying that he was only “joking”.
“It’s sad for all the boys, but that’s life,” he said. “The defenders who I have at my disposal are still very good players.”
Wilmots called up uncapped Genk defender Christian Kabasele on Monday.
Belgium, ranked second in the FIFA world rankings, open their Group E campaign on June 13 against Italy in Lyon, before also facing Sweden and the Republic of Ireland.
Final 23-man Belgium squad for Euro 2016:
Goalkeepers (3): Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/ENG)), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool/ENG), Jean-François Gillet (Mechelen)
Defenders (8): Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham/ENG), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham/ENG), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona/ESP), Jason Denayer (Galatasaray/TUR), Jordan Lukaku (Oostende), Thomas Meunier (Club Brugges), Laurent Ciman Montreal Impact/CAN), Christian Kabasele (Genk)
Midfielders (8): Moussa Dembele (Tottenham/ENG), Radja Nainggolan (Roma/ITA), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United/ENG), Axel Witsel (Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Eden Hazard (Chelsea/ENG), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/ENG), Dries Mertens (Napoli/ITA), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid/ESP)
Forwards (4): Mitchy Batshuayi (Marseille/FRA), Romelu Lukaku (Everton/ENG), Christian Benteke (Liverpool/ENG), Divock Origi (Liverpool/ENG)
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