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Benteke Not Included In Belgium World Cup Squad

4 June 2018

Christian Benteke will not be heading to Russia for the World Cup this summer after Roberto Martinez left him out of his final 23-man squad.

The Palace striker appeared as a half-time substitute in Belgium's 0-0 draw against Portugal in Brussels on Saturday night, but missed out on selection for the finals after Martinez trimmed his squad down from 28 to 23.

Speaking of his decision, the former Everton boss said: “He did everything during this camp, leaving him at home was the hardest decision. I choose the balance in the team, so I only take two deep strikers.”

Also missing out on a spot on the plane were Newcastle United goalkeeper Matz Sels, Christian Kabasele of Watford, Lazio's Jordan Lukaku and Laurent Cimon of Los Angeles FC.

Belgium World Cup squad:

Goalkeepers: Koen Casteels (Wolfsburg), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Simon Mignolet (Liverpool).

Defenders: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur), Dedryck Boyata (Celtic), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Thomas Meunier (Paris St Germain), Thomas Vermaelen (Barcelona), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur).

Midfielders: Yannick Carrasco (Dalian Yifang), Nacer Chadli (Watford), Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Mousa Dembele (Tottenham Hotspur), Leander Dendoncker (Anderlecht), Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United), Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Youri Tielemans (Monaco), Axel Witsel (Tianjin Quanjian)

Forwards: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea), Romelu Lukaku (Manchester United), Dries Mertens (Napoli).

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