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Martinez includes Witsel in Belgium squad for Euro 2020


Brussels (AFP) – Belgium coach Roberto Martinez on Monday named a 26-strong squad for Euro 2020 including Axel Witsel but without Marouane Fellaini.

Witsel underwent an operation on his achilles tendon in January and resumed running just a few days ago, leaving his availability for the June 11-July 11 tournament in doubt.

“With a squad extended to 26 (instead of 23), I can take this risk (on Witsel), he’s a unique player,” said Martinez.

Fellaini, who has not played for Belgium since the 2018 World Cup after which he left for China, has not been summoned from international retirement.

The squad, which also includes a stand-by list of 11 players, must be officially declared to UEFA by June 1 at the latest.

Belgium have been drawn in Pool B and will play Russia on June 12, Denmark five days later and Finland on June 21.

Belgium squad

Goalkeepers (3): Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid/ESP), Simon Mignolet (FC Bruges), Matz Sels (Strasbourg/FRA)

Defenders (5): Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham/ENG), Dedrick Boyata (Hertha Berlin/GER), Jason Denayer (Lyon/FRA), Jan Vertonghen (Benfica/POR), Thomas Vermaelen (Vissel Kobe/JPN)

Midfielders (11): Timothy Catagne (Leicester/ENG), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Nacer Chadli (İstanbul Basaksehir/TUR), Leander Dendoncker (Wolverhampton/ENG), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City/ENG), Thorghan Hazard (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Dennis Praet (Leicester/ENG), Youri Tielemans (Leicester/ENG), Hans Vanaken (FC Bruges), Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

Forwards (7): Mitchy Batshuayi (Crystal Palace/ENG), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace/ENG), Jeremy Doku (Rennes/FRA), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid/ESP), Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan/ITA), Dries Mertens (Napoli/ITA), Leandro Trossard (Brighton/ENG)

Stand-by list (11): Thomas Kaminski (Blackburn/ENG), Alexis Saelemaekers (Milan AC/ITA), Albert Sambi Lokonga (Anderlecht), Bryan Heynen (RC Genk), Thomas Foket (Reims/FRA), Adnan Januzaj Real Sociedad/ESP), Brandon Mechele (FC Bruges), Jordan Lukaku (Antwerp), Zinho Vanheusden (Standard Liege), Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht), Charles De Ketelaere (FC Bruges)

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