THREE IN FOR BELGIUM, ONE ON STANDBY

May 13, 2014 Posted Under: News

Three Chelsea players have been named in the Belgium World Cup squad by manager Marc Wilmots, with Thorgan Hazard also making the standby list.

Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois were all named in the 24-man squad, which includes four goalkeepers, one of which will be need to be cut ahead of next month’s tournament in Brazil.

With Belgium making their first appearance at the tournament since 2002, it will be the first time any of the players have performed at a World Cup finals.

Eden Hazard, who was named Chelsea Player of the Year 2013/14 last night, has made 43 appearances for the national side to date and was an integral member of the squad in their qualification group, scoring two goals during the campaign.

Lukaku, who has enjoyed a productive season-long loan spell at Everton, netted a crucial brace in their 2-1 win over Croatia in qualification and has made 27 appearances for Belgium.

For Courtois, meanwhile, his selection comes at the beginning of a week in which Atletico Madrid, where he is currently on loan, have an opportunity to clinch the La Liga title. The goalkeeper has played 15 times for Belgium.

Thorgan Hazard, who joins five other players on the standby list, has been rewarded for an impressive season on loan at Zulte Waregem in the Belgian top flight, where he has scored 16 goals from midfield. To date, he has one cap at senior international level, which came a year ago when he replaced Lukaku during the second half of a friendly against USA.

Former Chelsea winger Kevin De Bruyne, who departed the club in January, has also been selected.

Belgium have been drawn in group H alongside Algeria, Russia and South Korea.

They open their campaign against Algeria on 17 June.

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